MIRACLES FOR BREAKFAST
by RUTH MINSHULL
[pdf version] [word]
Chapter 1: PARENTHOOD HOW TO ESCAPE TOTAL RUIN
Chapter 2: TO BE OR NOT TO BE PERMISSIVE?
Chapter 3: “HE HIT ME FIRST!”
Chapter 4: CIVILIZED COMMUNICATION
Chapter 5: WHAT TO COMMUNICATE
Chapter 6: IS HE A PROBLEM OR A PROBLEM SOLVER?
Chapter 7: IS IT SAFE FOR YOUR CHILD TO TALK TO YOU?
Chapter 8: STICKS AND STONES
Chapter 9: WHAT IS SECURITY?
Chapter 10: FIGHTS, FITS, AND TEARS
Chapter 11: RESPONSIBILITY AND JUDGMENT
Chapter 12: GIVE YOUR CHILD HIS FUTURE
Chapter 13: THE SUPPRESSIVE PERSON
Chapter 14: THE BODY
Chapter 15: “IT’S MINE!”
Chapter 16: TELEVISION—MY PREJUDICES
Chapter 17: SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IQ
Chapter 18: ODDS AND ENDS
Chapter 19: THE LAST WORD
Chapter 1: :PARENTHOOD: HOW TO ESCAPE TOTAL RUIN
It’s not easy to stop being a parent once we start the whole thing. We can’t very well walk off the job or hand back the birth certificate and say, “Sorry, we’re not compatible.” And society frowns on most other means of disposal that may be provoked by moments of stress.
So, if we’re going to do anything to relieve the frustrations of child raising, there remains only one respectable solution (the path of most resistance): learning to understand and handle the little darlings and/or monsters.
This may sound impossible. But if you can still hope, there may be a chance.
I know this because I was a terrible Mother myself. Frustrated and overwhelmed, I was once convinced that while I floundered, children were getting ready to take over me, society, and undoubtedly the planet.
I’m not a Child Authority. I used to be one.
But that was before I had children of my own.
After I became a Mother, I knew I needed help. I tried many things. I read child psychology books avidly, looking for a key to the mystery: How could I retain my sanity and still be a parent? I didn’t find it. The advice I read always sounded good. It just wasn’t workable.
Knowing I should “understand the needs of the child” didn’t settle things when my son threatened to murder his playmate in a squabble over some toy. There were times when I had to remind myself, quite sternly, that “Motherhood is a joyous and fulfilling experience,” as I scraped dried cereal off the walls or rinsed out a pungent diaper.
The books told me that I should have “love and tolerance.” Yes. That sounded right.
Meanwhile, back at the split level, the day-by-day demands were slowly stripping off that veneer of love and tolerance and exposing the beast in me.
By the time my husband and I were expecting our second child, I concluded that I still knew far too little about handling children, although this was to be my major occupation for some years.
I started thinking about Scientology. Here, I knew was an international group doing extensive research on human behavior. I read the early books of Scientology (by L. Ron Hubbard) in 1951 and 1952, but I lost touch with the progress of this research. Checking through the local phone book, I found a Scientology Center located in a northwest suburb of Detroit.
Soon I was enrolled in a beginner’s class. I enjoyed that group, both the study and the people I met. All of them were individuals who were capable of looking beyond the daily routine to seek a richer life.
My prime interest, however was to learn how to apply Scientology in raising children.
Probably no man or woman has ever looked at his first child without feeling a surge of love for that helpless infant now entrusted to his care. And with that love comes a wave of awesome responsibility and a vow to do the right thing, whatever that might be.
The intention to do the right thing for our offspring is always there. Why then do we often end up confused? Why should there be a continual clash of wills between parent and child—two people who love each other so much?
As I studied Scientology, I realized that there are only two things troubling the average parent:
1. We don’t have enough knowledge. Am I being too tough or too lenient? How Can I keep him from hurting himself.’ Why won’t he confide in me? How can I help him with his schoolwork?
2. We have emotional attitudes we can’t control. Why do I get mad at him because he’s noisy? Why do I worry so much about him? Why do I punish him and later weep in frustration?
Before Scientology, I left the Big Questions for the philosophers to maul around while I contemplated the orange soda pop on the living room carpet and meditated on the relationship between infinity and the mortgage payments.
On the matter of undesirable emotions, I had experienced them all—anger, despondency, fear, criticalness, uncertainty and grief.
Scientology helped me with both of these weaknesses. Reading and Lasses increased my knowledge about people and life. Personal processing helped me get rid of my uncontrolled emotions.
I no longer experience periods of depression or futility, but find each day fresh and exciting. I feel younger and more energetic than I did twenty years ago. My best friends say that I don’t look forty-one years old (of course, this is why they are my best friends ).
My IQ. is higher and I learn quickly. I now do more world in one day than I could accomplish in a week before I became a Scientologist.
This book is my success story. It relates a few of the principles I’ve learned in Scientology and how I have used them in raising my children.
Today I am a professional Scientologist and a relaxed, easy-going Mother. My two boys are a pair of swingers. Paul, now fourteen, is tall (nearly 5’10”), and confident. He likes football, girls, baseball, hockey, girls, swimming history, music, and girls. Lee, who is eight, is a towheaded leprechaun with bright blue eyes. He likes girls sometimes, but prefers to climb trees, paint pictures, go fishing, Catch frogs, build odd-shaped tree forts, and tease his brother about girls.
With an easy rapport, we exchange stories, talk over problems, and plan our goals together.
We enjoy lots of good laughs such as the time recently when Lee reported, gravely, that his teacher was doing quite well; she only cried two or three times this year.
Sometimes we casually share a miracle for breakfast, such as curing some “serious ailment” between the orange juice and the toast.
The boys aren’t story-book-perfect children (nor am I that kind of Mother). They still resist getting haircuts, emptying waste baskets, and eating broccoli. Sometimes I still try to cure these obstinacies.
But, all things considered, I like being their Mother. They arc two of my best friends. They tell me their jokes and their secrets and let me read the love letters from their girl friends.
They are even willing to admit (in public! ) that I’m their Mother.
So, you can see. we’ve made a great deal of headway.
Chapter 2: TO BE OR NOT TO BE PERMISSIVE?
The sweetness and Love of a child is preserved only so long as he can exert his turn self determinism. You interrupt that, and, to a degree, you interrupt his life. (L. Ron Hubbard, SCIENTOLOGY: A New Slant on Life)
I am often asked, “Does Scientology believe in total permissiveness?” Most parents know, from instinct and love, that a child should not be beaten down too much. They also know that he shouldn’t become completely wild and uncontrolled. Where do you draw the line?
I know this dilemma well. At one time I swung erratically between complete permissiveness and total repression. The result was that sometimes I let thorn overwhelm me and other times I overwhelmed them. Both methods were ineffective.
You ( in spite of being a parent) have the right to some moments of peace and so do your children.
I found the answer that worked for me. Ron expresses the idea beautifully in one of his policies for running Scientology organizations:
We award production and up statistics and penalize down-production anal down statistics. (L. Ron Hubbard, ABILITY Issue l 35, “Rewards and Penalties” )
Every Scientology Organization job is assigned a production level. This is the statistic; it’s the amount a person is expected to produce (25 letters sent out each day or 35 people interviewed). When a person does better than this he has “up statistics.”
This policy strengthened one of my weaknesses in handling the children. Although there were no actual statistics (or production figures) with which to gauge the progress of our family, there were certain mutual purposes as a group. One’s actions and behavior contributed to these purposes or detracted from them.
Ron Hubbard discovered that all uncontrolled feelings and actions came from a part of the mind which he called the “Reactive Mind.”
Here is the source of man’s ruin.
It’s the reactive mind at work when we kick the leg of the chair we just bumped, or when we spank the baby because he cries. We all know that neither the chair nor the baby is going to reform because of such treatment. The reactive mind, however, is not so rational. We also have an “Analytical Mind” which makes the right decisions and helps us survive better.
Ron Hubbard believed that man is basically good and if man could erase his reactive mind, his basic goodness would be restored. This erasure is achieved through Scientology processing (also called “Auditing” ) .
Every Mother and Father can benefit by recognizing reactive behavior when it occurs.
When someone is being analytical, he is helping the group or family. When he is being reactive, he slows down or interrupts the production of the group.
If Mercybell is screaming for attention when Daddy is trying to write a business report, she’s detracting from family survival; she’s a down statistic.
When Billy cheerfully agrees to run to the store for milk, he’s assisting family survival.
Looking at this, a very simple policy emerged for me: I must reward analytical behavior and penalize ( or put under control ) reactive behavior.
Before such a policy can be effective, it is necessary to recognize what man really IS. There are three parts to man. In addition to the mind and the body, there is the being himself. We call the being a “thetan”. This is from the Greek symbol Theta, meaning “thought” (it is pronounced thatton). It is the spirit or soul.
In Scientology we do not say that a person has a spirit or thetan. We consider that he IS a thetan and that he has a mind and a body. Man is not a piece of meat (a body) and he is not a mind. He is a spiritual being, and he is senior to his mind and his body.
When the thetan is in control, he operates analytically. When the reactive mind (we sometimes call this the “bank”) is turned on, the thetan is temporarily overwhelmed. He is not being responsible for his behavior, nor can he explain it. He is no longer driving the car.
He’s sitting in the back seat wondering where he’ll be taken next.
This is where you must step in and put the brakes on.
Remember that a child is a thetan who is starting out in a small body. Everything is a little strange and new; but he’s an adventurer. He is eager to explore the world around him. He longs to create and experience things. He likes to laugh and to make you laugh. He needs some help and he’ll want to help you. He seeks to learn and feel and smell and taste and love.
An infant or toddler should be placed in a safe area where he will not come to harm as he explores and learns. We should give him the freedom to move around and handle things. It is most important that we do not try to stop his natural fondness for experience and independence. The more we praise and assist these desires, the more the child will keep expanding his abilities.
On the other hand, if his actions are reactive, if they’re non-survival for himself or others, put in control of some kind.
I don’t advocate physical punishment. Although we are tempted at times, it never works. It will backfire in the form of sly destructive acts against us. After a spanking, Sneezer will accidentally break Daddy’s glasses or sit on Mother’s new hat.
Although you can’t erase a child’s reactive bank with any home remedy, there are several ways you can help him get it under better control. In our Scientology organizations we do not permit excessively “banky” behavior. We’ve learned that unless a person is capable of conducting himself in a reasonably sane manner, our training and auditing will not be effective.
Similarly, for your own peace of mind, and because it’s necessary, you must see that the child is back at the wheel of the car before you can give him the guidance necessary to speed him along happily on his trip to adulthood.
There ate both preventative and remedial steps which can be followed. If your child is very young now, you will be able to allow him to grow up relatively unsuppressed. This is ideal.
There won’t be as much bank stirred up to give both of you trouble.
If your child is older, the job may be more difficult. If he now expresses his “freedom” by throwing your good china across the room or biting the visiting minister’s ankle, the thetan is not actually being free. He’s quite trapped by his reactive bank and the bank is running the show. In this case, you must take remedial steps before you can do anything else.
This is the only criterion on discipline: Are you being permissive to the thetan or to the bank?
After studying and using Ron Hubbard’s technology on the mind, I evolved two rules which, if followed, would resolve a large percentage of family difficulties.
Rule one: DO NOT TRY TO CONTROL A THETAN.
You’ll lose him, because he’ll never really give up trying to do what he wants to do. If you keep stopping him, however, he’ll degenerate in his attempts to exercise his freedom of choice.
Rule two: DO CONTROL THE REACTIVE BANK.
It is only by handling the bank and teaching the child to handle it himself, that we can put the thetan in charge again. That’s the road to true freedom.
All discipline should be directed toward the ultimate purpose of helping the child learn to practice self-discipline. This is what distinguishes civilized man from the beast.
Once in a while you will be forced to take a good look at yourself. You and little Billingsly are in a whopping battle; you’re both convinced you are right. When there’s a great, clanging upset in the household, you can bet a peanut butter sandwich that there’s some reactive bank in operation. But, whose is it? Before you say, “Off to the dungeon,” to the progeny, make certain it’s not your own bank growling.
Most children like to create a lot of noise and motion. Parents generally prefer a good deal less of each. This desire to stop, however, is often a reactive manifestation. Does this mean that you have to live in the midst of clamorous pandemonium? No. But try to differentiate whose bank is in operation. Then work to handle that bank.
Paul, who loves music, is like many teenagers. He has the idea that the volume of his radio or record player must be turned up five times louder than the tolerance level of the adult ear drum. At one time this was nearly intolerable to me. I was convinced that he must be doing this to irritate others. Later I learned that it was my problem, not his. When I looked into his room at such times, I found him totally wrapped in his music, sometimes dancing or playing his drums. He was a star drummer sitting in the middle of his band and playing for an ecstatic audience. He was just feeling the rhythm and the wonderful aliveness of his young body.
So what’s wrong with that?
I found that I objected mostly because it seemed as if I “ought” to, not because I actually minded the music so much. It was a happy noise. So I dropped the fuddy-duddy-mother bit.
Now, when the house rocks on its foundation with the record player going full blast and the drums are rolling, I sometimes do a little hip-wiggling dance at the kitchen sink myself.
On the other hand, if a child is racing noisily in and out and this is interfering with a conversation or a job being done, he should be told to play elsewhere. Do not reward him for making a nuisance of himself.
I have seen many parents err on this. They give a child a cookie or promise some treat to get rid of him. This tells the child: “I get rewarded if I make enough trouble.”
First, invite the child to get himself under control. If he does not, he is saying, “I can’t handle my bank.”
Don’t bribe or try to reason with the bank. The bank is not reasonable in the first place. Just handle it. If you fail to do this, the child will soon feel that his bank is bigger than both of you.
When you shut off reactive behavior, you are not hurting the thetan. You are doing him a favor. You arc showing him that a bank can be controlled. He’ll be thankful for this someday and you’ll hear him boast proudly that he was never allowed to get away with such conduct.
A child of three can be taught the difference between analytical and reactive behavior.
I used a blackboard method for a time.
The blackboard, located in the kitchen, was divided into the “good side” and the “bad side” under each boy’s name. They received good marks for analytical actions and bad marks for reactive behavior. At the end of the week, these “statistics” were added up and the amount of their allowance was influenced by the final score.
They were given bad marks for provoking arguments, for being excessively critical or argumentative, for destructive actions, for trying to influence with deception, anger, tears or other reactive emotions, for doing a job carelessly, or for breaking any of the household rules.
Good marks were given for helping out with jobs around the house, for cheerfully responding to a request, for overcoming a problem, for volunteering help, for creative ideas, for acquiring a new ability, and for contributing to the pleasure or survival of the family.
Since they both enjoyed having their own money to spend, this was an incentive to seek the rewards and to avoid the penalties.
I found that this system markedly reduced my own frustrations.
We should never penalize a child for breaking rules which are not clearly defined, nor should we keep changing rules to suit our whims. So, whatever system of discipline you use, let the child know what you expect of him.
I read the rules of the household to the boys every morning for a week to groove them in.
After that, when there was any violation, I simply said, “Take a bad mark for that.”
I didn’t have to deliver a screaming lecture or dwell on “What am I ever going to do with you?”
I did it.
This reprimand is a brief one; but it says everything you need to say. You and the child can quickly put your attention on more cheerful matters.
If you use this method, the child may resist the penalties at first. When this happens, do not argue and do not justify yourself. If your rules are known, everything has been said.
When I first started this system, I often heard objections, “Oh, I won’t do it again,” “I just forgot,” or, “That’s not fair.”
To this I replied, “Make that two marks.”
No comment, other than adding extra marks, was made until the instructions were carried out.
You may feel like an ogre the first few times you do this. I did. That’s part of the trip. The bank (perhaps yours as well as the child’s) will try to confuse you about the nature of real help. If you must add ten extra marks on to the first one in order to get compliance, it will be worth it later.
After any particularly trying fiasco, let the air cool off a few minutes and End some valid reason for rewarding the child with good marks. Notice something he did well or give him a little job to do for you. This puts his attention, and yours, on the plus side of things.
The promise of a reward is more effective than the threat of punishment. You could say, “Get that basement cleaned up or you’ll stay in tomorrow.”
You’ll get better results if you say, “There’s a fresh batch of cookies waiting for you when you’ve done the job.”
After our blackboard system was running smoothly, the bad marks began to diminish. When I did give one, the response was generally prompt. “OK” or “Sorry about that.”
The situation was smoothly managed, and the whole household did not get disturbed because of one slip of the bank.
The boys started to appreciate the system after a time. Sometimes on their own, they marked up bad points against themselves for some misdeed.
In Scientology we would say that he was “putting Ethics in on himself.” This is a high level of responsibility.
When the board became imbalanced on the bad side, the boys scurried around looking for extra jobs they could do to help me out.
Whether marking up their own bad points or seeking to earn good ones, they were taking more responsibility for their own behavior. And that’s the whole idea.
I stopped wondering if the system was actually going to work when, one Saturday, the boys
checked the board. There were only good marks. Paul shouted, “Hey, I beat my bank!”
Lee said, “Me, too.”
I knew that all three of us were winners.
Such a method can only be successful if your ultimate purpose is to make the child right. If it is used only to make him wrong, your bank holds the upper hand and control becomes a dirty word. There’s nothing wrong with control if it is a thetan controlling a bank. When a bank tries to control a thetan, however, everyone fails. This is slavery.
If the bad marks keep outnumbering the good ones, start checking yourself. Are the rules clearly understood? Are you actually looking for any reasons to commend the child? If you don’t look for them, believe me, you’ll never find them. When your attention is on faultfinding, all you will find are faults.
Think of ways for the child to get good marks or you will destroy any incentive for improvement.
While using this system, I taught the boys Ron Hubbard’s principle:
WHEN YOU REWARD DOWN STATISTICS AND PENALIZE UP STATISTICS YOU GET DOWN STATISTICS. (L. Ron Hubbard, ABILITY Issue 185, “Rewards and Penalties” )
This is a natural law and the boys understood it easily Lee returned from school one day to tell me, “Some mothers are so dumb!”
Laughing at his intensity, I asked, “Which mother?”
He told me that a boy in school was in serious trouble because of some misbehavior. His mother was called in to sec the teacher. After the interviews the boy’s mother opened her handbag and gave him some candy.
“Doesn’t she know that’s rewarding down statistics?” Lee asked exasperatedly, “How’s that kid ever gonna learn?”
It was a good question ....
Chapter 3: “HE HIT ME FIRST!”
The main consideration in raising children is the problem of training them without breaking them. You want to raise your child in such a way that you don’t have to control him, so that he will be in full possession of himself at all times. Upon that depend his good behavior, his health, his sanity.
Children are not dogs. They can’t be trained as dogs are trained. They are not controllable items. They are, and let’s not overlook the point, men and women. A child is not a special species of animal distinct from Afar. A child is a man or a woman who has not attained full growth.
Any law which applies to the behavior of men and women applies to children. (L. Ron Hubbard, SCIENTOLOGY: A Net Slant on Life. )
The boys were scrapping and fighting all day. Nothing I said made any lasting effect on them. (This was before I put in the blackboard system and before I started to teach them much Scientology data. ) I screamed at them, sent them to their rooms, and threatened. I was exhausted and dispirited. They were still devil-ridden and ready for more hassling I was standing in the kitchen considering the penalty for double murder when a tiny spark of rationality shone through the blackness. Make there confront each other.’ They weren’t doing so, I knew. At the moment two banks were clashing. Two record players were left playing at each other while the thetans were gone away.
I grabbed two dining chairs and set them down facing each other. “Paul, you sit here. Lee, here. Now, I want you to sit there and look at each other. You are not to move or talk. Just look at each other. When you start doing it, I’ll set the timer for five minutes. OK? Start.”
Well, I heard arguments. They pleaded to do anything but look at each other. Lee was less than four years old; Paul was nine. Paul argued, and Lee tried to get down. Failing this (I was holding him in), he tried to push the chair back. I won in the end, (I was bigger than they were), and they sat in the chairs. There was some wiggling, a covert kick, and a loud “ouch.”
I stopped them and, ignoring all the protests, started them again. I reset the timer for five minutes.
After they completed five minutes of what I considered slightly better than hopeless confronting, I let them go.
I collapsed in a chair and started to wonder whether or not my actions would ruin them for Scientology. The exercise I made them do was one of the basic training drills (usually called TRs) used in Scientology classes. This one was TR O and is used to help a person learn to sit in a chair comfortably and confront another person without self-consciousness or embarrassment.
I wish I could say that I started teaching the TRs to the children with a cool, analytical approach. The truth is: I resorted to them in a moment of utter despair and I wasn’t at all certain, at that moment, whether I really held their best interests at heart. Was I punishing them? Worse yet, was I punishing them with Scientology?
In spite of my uncertainty, I decided to continue using this method to see how it worked.
After all, I reasoned, any kind of definite and predictable leadership was better than none at all. Furthermore, it gave me something I could do to prevent their continued harmful acts against each other. Next time, I vowed, I would do it with more love and more purpose. They could be helped by it. Also, I knew I must teach them this was help rather than punishment.
From that day, “OK, boys. In the chairs,” was a familiar call.
I learned not to wait until their scraps reached the stage of total mayhem, but put in an order at the first altercation.
There were protests, of course. Sometimes they even fought over who would sit in which chair. However, I did not argue with them. At Urns response other than a quick compliance, I added another five minutes to their time. Before they learned this well, they sometimes racked up 30 or 35 minutes.
There were days when I nearly gave up. Perhaps it would never work. At last, however, I realized that the trips to the chairs were becoming less frequent (by this time the blackboard system was also in place to cover individual violations). The household was becoming more peaceful.
I used these two programs (the chairs and the blackboard) to bring order. At the same time, I started teaching the boys more about the human mind. They learned that the TRs were to help them get their banks under control and to learn to really communicate with each other.
I never yielded to the pleas such as, “He started it,” or “I didn’t do anything.” Along with other basics, I taught them that it takes two to make a fight. It is impossible for one person to have a fight.
There were many invitations to arbitrate in their battles; but I never fell into that trap. When the “innocent victim” came to me and tried to convince me that he was blameless, I might ask, “What did you do to pull in this trouble?” or, “What could you have done to prevent that?”
There was always an answer.
Therefore, they always got the chairs together when there was an upset between them.
Gradually they learned that it is possible to avoid getting into trouble with someone (this has since served them well in situations outside of home).
Soon they began to take more and more responsibility for their own actions. Surprisingly, they didn’t hate me after all. They understood the purpose of the chairs.
One day I took a quick trip to the grocery, leaving the boys alone. When I returned, they were sitting in the chairs; there were two minutes left on the timer. l
I said nothing. When the bell rang, they got up, Lee shut off the timer, and they both sauntered casually! out to play. I never asked what led to the self-discipline. They had taken the right action. That’s all that mattered.
It’s interesting that most children enjoy doing TRs. Many of them are taking the children’s communication courses in our organizations and centers. I often watch boys and girls learning their TRs. They usually find them fun and take pride in doing them well.
One week-end Paul’s school friend, David, was visiting us. Paul and Lee started some kind of a little squabble, so I said, “Into the chairs, boys.”
When they finished, I heard David ask Paul, “You mean you have to sit there and just look at your brother? Gosh. That would kill me!”
Paul assured him that it wasn’t so bad. He went on to explain the principle of it.
A few weeks later, we picked up David to bring him home for another visit.
Driving along in the car, I heard David ask Paul, if he and Lee mere still required to sit in the chairs Paul replied, “Oh, yes. When we need it.”
“You know, I told my Mother about that; but she didn’t do anything.” David sighed and added, wistfully, “She just keeps yelling at us.”
Over the years there were other interesting bonuses from the TRs. Paul received compliments from several different teachers on his remarkable poise when speaking before the class.
Apparently most children are extremely nervous when giving their first talks. They shove their hands in and out of pockets, fidget, rattle papers, and scratch. Paul, it seems, was able to appear cool and well controlled.
As the children became better at TR 0. I let them go on to more advanced drills, sometimes sitting down to work with them myself. By the time we went to England, where I took further professional courses, they were ready to start some formal training themselves ( Lee with the children and Paul with adults ) .
We no longer need such discipline; but occasionally, for the benefit of a new friend, the boys reminisce—fondly and laughingly—about their many hours in “The Chairs.”
The most heart-warming reward I ever received for my disciplinary efforts came from Paul a few years ago.
We were riding in the car and he was talking about school. He said that many students didn’t get their homework done. He mentioned one girl who asked him whether he watched a certain television show the previous night. He answered, “No. We’re not permitted to watch TV on school nights.”
The girl exclaimed, “Oh, how can you stand it? My whole family would just die without TV.
We all watch it every night.”
To me, Paul commented wryly that this was evident from the kind of schoolwork the girl did.
“She just needs more discipline. I think some people don’t know how to discipline their kids at all.”
A few minutes later, he surprised me by saying, “You know, Mom, you give us kids lots more freedom than most parents do.”
I felt relief and excitement. By himself, he worked out the difference between discipline and punishment and the difference between freedom and unchecked indulgence.
I wouldn’t trade the memory of that bit of eleven-year old insight for a mink coat and a Jaguar.
It was the first of many major gains.
Chapter 4: CIVILIZED COMMUNICATION
A man is as dead as he can’t communicate. He is as alive as he can communicate. ( L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics ‘55 )
Establishing discipline in a household is impossible without good communication. The child must understand what you are doing.
After classifying reactive behavior and developing methods for putting it quickly under control, I did not need to spend much time talking about bad conduct. We were able to use our communication for discussing subjects of a more constructive nature and to raise the atmosphere of the home to a more cheerful level. Instead of giving a stormy dissertation on how to behave in the neighborhood, I was able to spend time reading with the children or talking about subjects of mutual interest.
A foundation of good communication is necessary with a child, because, whether we like it or not, it is the basis of everything workable in raising that child.
Down at the bottom, it’s the only way to solve a problem or clear up a misunderstanding.
Lichen well . established, we use communication for teaching and guiding. At the top, where there may be no serious problems left, communication is the reward for living. Without it, there is nothing.
Of course, after a grim day over the washboard, most of us can think of ninety-nine things we’d rather do than carry on a stimulating conversation with a three-year old. However, being in a predicament, (whether by accident or naiveté), it’s best to cope. Good communication is the best implement known for paddling through the perils of parenthood.
From the time a baby is first born, you should start speaking to him, directly and often. Soon after his l birth, take the time to introduce yourself to him. Also acquaint him with the rest of the family and his environment. This may sound like an absurd suggestion, but if you haven’t tried it, don’t knock it.
I talked this way with Lee a few hours after he was born. I told him who I was, his name, where we were, and some of our plans for the near future As I j talked, he became calm and quiet. During the rest of our stay in the hospital, several nurses remarked that Lee was the only baby in the nursery who did not scream at the top of his lungs for at least an hour before feeding times. Lichen they went to pick him up, he was always lying there awake, but serene.
So, even if you cannot believe that a tiny baby understands you, do remember that you are not handling a dressed turkey from the butcher shop. There’s a spiritual being . in that body and every being wants communication.
Address the baby in clear, dignified language. Although there should be time for play and nonsense, perpetual itchy-kitchy-koo’s and other incoherent gibberish should be saved for the parakeet.
Children who are included in an abundance of communication will be more content and they’ll learn to talk earlier (and better) because of it.
When a child starts asking questions, (there’s no avoiding it; he will), answer him honestly.
Do not be vague or witty at his expense.
There is a great deal more to say about communication, because it weaves through every facet of child raising, but right here I want to emphasize one part of it.
Auditing is the action of an auditor asking questions of a person called a “preclear.” To facilitate auditing, Ron Hubbard developed the “Auditing Comm Cycle.” This communication cycle, exquisitely simple and precise, is partly responsible for the phenomenal results we achieve in auditing. Although the strict formality of this comm cycle would be out of place in most social conversations, using it as a guide can help any of us establish smoother relations with others. Remarkable benefits result from the use of a good comm cycle.
In fact, I’m convinced that Scientology teaches the only civilized communication used on this planet today.
Stripped to its bare bones, the auditing comm cycle consists of asking a question, getting it answered, and acknowledging the answer.
While we are not asking questions in usual conversation, we are still getting “answers,” or statements from others most of the time. These should be acknowledged. The most common weakness in social dialogue is the failure to acknowledge.
An acknowledgment is simply a way of letting another person know that you heard him or noticed something he did. It can be simply, “That’s nice,” “OK,” or “I understand.” Any words will suffice if they let the other person know that you heard him or noticed that he accomplished something.
I remember one mother who told me, “I can talk and talk to that child and he never answers me. I don’t know whether he hears me half of the time.”
Yes. This is most annoying. It bothers most of us when we do not get acknowledged, because it leaves a thought or accomplishment hanging there in time —unfinished. However, when I hear a complaint such as this, I know something about the complaining mother. She is not sufficiently acknowledging her child.
The habit of civilized communication is instilled by example. I see some parents give orders to a child, one after another, without ever acknowledging that a single one of them was completed.
Under such circumstances, a child may build up a magnificent indifference to parental instructions.
To him, life has become a continuous stream of “starts,” with no “stops.”
A “cycle of action” consists of: Start, Continue, Complete, of a particular activity.
Completing a cycle of action is beneficial to any of us (although it is strongly resisted by the reactive bank).
An acknowledgment helps to end a cycle. It says, “Well done,” or “End of that.” If you want to improve the mental health of a child (and his general willingness to do things), help him end cycles. When he tells you something, acknowledge it. When he answers your questions, acknowledge him. ( Incidentally, see that he does answer your question, once you ask it. )
When he does a job or errand for you, acknowledge him.
If you give him an order, see that it is carried out. This is another important part of helping him end cycles. If you let a child talk you out of doing something, you will get more arguments every time you ask him to do something. If you neglect to see that an order is carried out, you will get flagrant disobedience in the future.
Little Fisque leaves his toys scattered all over the living room. Mother tells him to pick them up and put them in the 60x. He ignores her. She goes out of the room for a while. Later, she finds the toys still there, so she picks them up herself. This moment of weakness will cost her hours of frustration later.
What Mother should do is get into good comm with Fisque, chat a minute or two before asking him again to put his toys in the box. Continue until the job is done. Under no circumstances, should she allow the action to go uncompleted. If the child is in a well established habit of disobedience, she should take his hand; put it on a toy, lift the toy into the box and say, “Thank you.” This should be continued until he takes over the action himself. It may require patience to see that the instructions are carried out; but this initial persistence will save a great deal of wear and tear on her nervous system ultimately.
Put a high value on your communication to a child and on his to you.
As soon as I started using good comm with the boys, they adopted it themselves. I taught them the principles of civilized communication along with the admonitions to, “use your fork, not your fingers.” It became natural for them. In fact, no doubt, their communication is better than their table manners. But, it’s more important.
There’s a technical term for the failure to acknowledge. It’s called “Q & A.” This simply means that we do not let a person end a cycle. If Periwinkle says, “I like these potatoes,” and we say, “Good,” that’s an acknowledgment. If we say, “Why don’t you eat your carrots?”
this is a Q & A. This doesn’t mean that we must never mention the carrots; but before we start a new cycle of conversation, we should accept Periwinkle’s statement and end the cycle on that comm.
Lee learned the meaning of a Q & A long before he could pronounce it. On his first day in nursery school, I asked him how he liked it. “It was fun,” he replied, “but those teachers sure do Coo and A a lot.”
Although his ability to communicate was steadily improving, there were times when I felt Lee could use a little polish. One day I heard him scream at a friends “Don’t you even know enough to say ‘OK’ when I tell you something?”
I was surprised when Lee’s nursery school teacher mentioned his wonderful manners. I couldn’t imagine anyone saying this about my untamed offspring. Later I realized that it must be his comm cycle. He would naturally say “OK” when told something and “thank you” when given something.
I didn’t fully appreciate the rarity of acknowledgments until one day when Paul was in the seventh grade. He came home from school elated. After his English Class, he told me, his teacher called him back to her desk. “Paul, I’m putting three extra “A”s in the book for you today.”
Paul was mystified. It was not easy to get an “A” from this teacher. She explained, “Three times today—when I passed out books, when I returned the homework papers, and when I wished you all a happy week-end—you were the only one in the class who thanked me.”
I felt a strong compassion for this teacher She must have been starved for acknowledgments of her efforts.
Since then, I have not forgotten that one of the nicest ways to give a boost to someone in my environment is to acknowledge those who help, or reach, or simply continue to do a regular job nicely Actually, it’s those dull, routine jobs for which we most need acknowledgment.
If you’re a housewife, imagine how therapeutic it would be if someone thanked you for all the meals you’ve cooked, those thousands of dishes you’ve washed (let’s not dwell on the exact number), the clothes you’ve handled and the noses you’ve wiped. Whew.
If you’re the husband, you probably wouldn’t mind being told how good it is that you put in so many hours of work for the family, drive so many miles, mow so many lawns, repair so many broken gadgets and surrender so many paychecks.
Not one of us would mind someone noticing that we are holding up our little corner of the superstructure called life.
From an early age, a child wants to contribute and be noticed for doing so. So, when that little two-year old brings you three crushed dandelions and an angleworm, you should acknowledge this gift as graciously as you would a dozen orchids from a king.
Chapter 5: WHAT TO COMMUNICATE
Communication is the solvent for all things It dissolves all things. ( L. Ron Hubbard, The Fundamentals of Thought)
In addition to learning how to communicate, I stress to the children that they should communicate. The maxim of the household is: When in doubt, communicate.
This helped when it was necessary to coax out the details of some complaint or upset. Once out in the light of day, such upsets were soon handled.
No stops should be put on a child’s comm, for this is his only means of changing or improving. The cruelest thing you can do to a young person is to forbid him to speak. Some parents shush a child because they can’t stand the constant chatter. The reason any person yaks excessively is because his communication is not being adequately acknowledged. He just keeps trying to be heard.
If your child is constantly interrupting or doing other things to get your attention, he is not getting enough communication of the right kind. Just the fact that you are in the house with him all day does not mean that you are necessarily devoting any time to communication of choice.
Try to give the child some time for uninterrupted communication of his own kind. He may want to comm with you by playing a game, reading a book together, or throwing a ball.
Twenty minutes spent looking through a magazine together, talking about the pictures and stories, can completely satisfy his need for comm and spare you hours of partially divided attention brought about by his misbehavior.
If a child wants to say “I hate you,” let him. Acknowledge it. He will probably get rid of the whole thing right there.
If he brings home some colorful gutter language, see that he knows the meaning of this language (often he doesn’t). Explain the social opinion of such language, but do not forbid it.
Let him knot it is his choice, but that he’ll probably be more popular in certain circles (which include other parents) if he doesn’t USE it. If you play heavy on something like this, the child will be an angel in front of you and talk like a merchant marine in front of everyone else. All of which places you in the role of the proverbial ostrich, and this means a lot of sand in the ears.
Follow the open communication policy especially on the subject of sex. If you do not communicate freely to the child (and he to you) on this topic, you will start to lose him as soon as he reaches puberty.
He should be able to tell you about the first time he masturbates. He should be reading another copy of “The Great Loves of Madame Flauntinal,” rather than making furtive exchanges with his pals behind the dirty books store.
The sexual urge itself is not the source of man’s aberration; it plays a relatively small part.
The most injurious aspect of sex is the mystery and secrecy with which it is sometimes shrouded.
Keep communication lines open and flowing freely with the child.
My boys know my viewpoints on most all subjects. They also know the laws and the mores of our society. But completely aside from these, I leave an opening for them to tell me anything.
So, regardless of whether or not I condone something they do, they know they are free to tell me about it.
Chapter 6: IS HE A PROBLEM OR A PROBLEM SOLVER?
Paul rushed into the house. “Mom, will you give me permission to punch Jerry in the nose?”
“No,” I answered, What’s the trouble?”
He gave me a long, involved tale about Jerry’s misdeeds. The other boy was a natural enemy of Paul’s. I later made Paul discontinue all association with the boy. At this time, however, I dove into the muddy waters head first. I tried to help him solve the difficulties with Jerry. I suggested several alternate plans. Each one was squashed or ridiculed. At last, becoming suspicious, I said, “Wait a minute. Exactly what is the problem here?”
I want permission to punch him in the nose. He’s been asking for it.”
You don’t want to straighten out your difficulties with him?
‘No. I just want to bash him one.”
“OK. Now I understand. No. You may not have my permission to bash him one. Is that clear?”
I learned a couple of valuable lessons from this experience. In the first place, before you try to help someone, find out what the problem is. Also, it’s a good idea to find out whether there is going to be only one acceptable “solution.” It’ll be a reactive one. That is, it will not be the rational solution which will bring about the greatest good for all concerned. Punching someone in the nose is a reactive solution.
It is also necessary to make certain that the individual wants to get rid of the problem. He may be telling you about it but not asking for help. Sometimes the person is completely happy to keep his problem. If you assume otherwise, you’re just putting your nose in the buzzsaw.
There are several reasons why a person hangs onto a problem. There may be a scarcity of problems in his life. Or, he may be holding his side of a problem there because it is serving some aberrated purpose (it may be keeping him out of school or work). There may be a communication led incomplete about that problem (perhaps a letter, question, or a phone call will clear the whole thing up). Or, if a person committed some harmful acts in an area or against another, he will experience a problem with that area or person.
When someone tells you of a problem, do not forget the power of a simple acknowledgment.
Teenage daughter says, “I don’t think I’ll go to the party because I’m afraid no one will ask me to dance.”
Here you should say, “OK.”
That may be the end of the problem. She told you her reactive solution: not going to the dance.
One simple acknowledgment may help her end the cycle of this solution and will be worth more than a dozen attempts to reassure her.
After I became aware of some of the pitfalls, I developed some cagey methods when one of the boys brought me a problem. Sometimes “OK” would take care of the matter. If it didn’t, I would ask, half mockingly, “Is this problem serving some purpose?” or “Are you sure you want it solved? I don’t want to take away something of value.”
Thus, lightly, the point was made. Soon they stopped telling problems unless they wanted some help.
One day, during his first semester in Junior High School, Paul said, “I’ve got a problem and I want too solve it.”
“All right. What is it?”
He told me that one of his teachers was getting annoyed because a few students in the class were creating a noisy row every time he stepped out of the room. To solve this, the teacher started punishing the entire class by giving them extra assignments. He reasoned that the miscreants would feel sorry for bringing this extra work on the other students and would correct their behavior.
Paul and I both knew that the teacher was not operating on a workable assumption.
Obviously, this was a situation that called for more communication. “But,” said Paul, “I don’t want to sound as if I know more than he does.”
I asked Paul to think of things he was willing to tell the teacher. Finally he evolved a plan that he liked. He went to his room and drafted a petition suggesting that non-offenders be placed on one side of the class and the rowdies on the other. Extra assignments should only be given to those who had been causing the disturbances. The students on the ‘good side’ would police the whole thing and vote students over to their side as the outcasts showed improvement in their behavior.
The next day Paul obtained signatures on his petition and presented it to the instructor. The teacher was impressed by Paul’s initiative. As they talked, Paul found an opportunity to say, “You know, I don’t think those guys are going to feel sorry the rest of us got extra work. They don’t think that way.”
After a moment’s thought, the instructor said, “Yes. You’re right about that.”
The instructor was so pleased with Paul’s logic and efforts that he immediately ceased his mass punishment techniques. Although he never put the split room plan to work, he started handling the children more effectively. For Paul, the mission was accomplished.
I was pleased with this. While the rest of the class complained about the injustice, Paul was the only one who believed that the situation could be put right and took steps to do so.
If you try to help someone with a scarcity of problems, you will also be flirting with failure.
Man’s nature is such that he wants a few problems. They’re the salt and pepper of existence; life would be too bland without them.
I once knew a lonely woman in our neighborhood. Her husband worked long hours; there were no children and few interests to keep her occupied. One day she started telling me, at length, about her big problem with her dog. At last, I made a suggestion that would solve her problem instantly. To this she blurted out, “You don’t understand.”
She was right. I didn’t. Although I didn’t need a problem with a dog, she did. I was trying to take away one of her problems, of which she already possessed too few.
It is vital to every person’s well-being that he keep just the right number of problems.
Someone once said that if you want a job done, give it to a busy man. If you give the job to a man with too little to do, he will take the job and worry and fuss and magnify it’s difficulties and be reluctant to finish it. Or, he may never get to it at all.
It is important that a youngster is busy enough to satisfy his desire for a lot of activity. In Scientology we use the word “randomity” to describe the total accumulation of haphazard occurrences in an individual’s environment.
How many unplanned jobs will come up today? How many extra letters will have to be written? How many unpredicted phone calls or visitors must be handled? The total of these is the amount of randomity for the day.
I explained randomity to Paul once, telling him that ‘plus randomity” meant there was more going on than you could tolerate or handle. “Minus randomity” was a condition where there was too little going on to keep your interest. “Optimum randomity” is just enough activity to keep life enjoyable.
Optimum randomity varies from person to person. Where one individual feels best with lots of things to handle (a busy switchboard operator), another would crack up under the strain.
One night I was getting dinner, reading a recipe, keeping an eye on the meat, and talking to the boys at the same time. When the telephone rang and the paper boy called to collect, I said, “Now that . . .”
“ . . . is plus randomity,” finished Paul.
I stressed the problems of minus randomity to Paul strongly, because this is common to most young people.
“For example,” I said, “Suppose you and the boys are sitting around with nothing to do. You are bored. You don’t like being bored. Right? So you try to End something to do. Now, if you handle it analytically, you’ll find something constructive or fun. On the other hand, if you solve it reactively, you’ll start teasing or bothering someone and pretty soon one of you is angry and, finally, there’s a fight and maybe someone goes home hurt. So from boredom you can go up or down. In either case, you’re just trying to solve the problem of minus randomity.”
A few days later I heard him put this into effect with some friends. They were playing monopoly in his room. The game started to get dull and the boys were horsing around.
When this happened, Paul said, “OK, boys. Break it up. Let’s go work on our fort.”
If you see a person who is always late and busy, you know he is in a plus randomity condition and is generally inefficient. He takes on more than he can handle and is unable to finish jobs or put order into his environment.
A person with too little to do often slides into reactive solutions. He may fuss about small body ailments, create big scenes or try to stir up trouble around him. You’ll see this phenomena in the bored housewife, the man with a dull job and the inactive child.
Some teenagers appear lazy. They neglect their homework and their chores. Often they simply don’t have enough to do to spark their ambition.
I remember one teenager who was coming into our centre several hours each week for a course. Soon he started coming in at extra times to help us do some jobs. One day the boy’s mother said, “It’s funny; we don’t have any trouble getting Bill to do things anymore. He’s busier than ever; but he gets his homework done right after school every day and he helps around the house more cheerfully.”
I never feel sorry for the young boy or girl who must work; I only feel sorry for the ones with nothing to do. For his own sanity, see that a child is kept just busy enough. Never deprive him of the right to work and contribute in any way he can.
Parents should adjust their own lives to obtain optimum randomity. If they’re too busy, they’ll neglect their children and their other jobs as well. If they are not busy enough, they often become excessively picky and critical of their children. (“Mary, I don’t think you should see Perry,” “Mary, stop picking your fingernails,” “Mary, you’re not sitting in the chair properly.”) This is an attempt to create some problems where too few exist.
Paul learned to diagnose randomity problems easily.
One day a bored housewife in the neighborhood reprimanded Paul and his friends for some minor transgression. One of the friends asked, “What’s wrong with that old bag anyway?”
Paul replied, “Oh, she’s just suffering from minus randomity.”
“What’s that, a new disease?”
“No. A scarcity of problems. She doesn’t have enough to do.”
Chapter 7: IS IT SAFE FOR YOUR CHILD TO TALK TO YOU?
For a very great many years I asked this question, “To communicate or not to communicate?”
If one got himself into such thorough trouble by Communicating, then, of course, one should stop communicating. But, this is not the case. If one gets himself into trouble by communicating he should further communicate. More communication, not less, is the answer, and I consider this riddle solved after a quarter century of investigation and pondering. ( L. Ron Hubbard Dianetics ‘55 )
After I gave a lecture one evening a man came up to me and said, “You people talk a lot about getting into communication. Well, I’d like to see how you’d do that with my son. He hardly ever says a word to me. He’s moody most of the time and if I try to draw him into conversation, he just gives me non-committal answers or drifts off into his own dream world.
I don’t know what to do with him. Are all teenagers this way?”
Unfortunately, too many of them are. It is almost impossible to pick up a current periodical without seeing an article on the problems of juvenile delinquency, drop-outs, or the teenagers’ revolt.
Scholars, psychologists and educators are applying their accumulated knowledge to the question of our revolting teenagers and they seem to agree that most of the problems stem from poor communication between the teen and the adult. But there they stop. I look for, but do not find, an article explaining what to do about this poor communication. They offer important-sounding, but meaningless platitudes, (“It should be understood that this transitional period is one of bewilderment and enigma to the teen. More effort should be made to sympathize with the complexity of his life at this time . . .” )
They correctly diagnose the disease, but they can suggest no real cure, and there isn’t a glimmer as to the cause.
I learned the cause and the cure within Scientology.
The cause is rooted early in poor listening habits of the parents. The cure comes only with good comm: Listening, understanding, acknowledging. With no Q & A (That is, be willing to receive his communication without adding anything to it.)
The kind of talk that passes for polite conversation in the average home, office, school or at a cocktail party today is seldom more than a free-for-all for Q & A Artists. Nearly every remark a person makes is immediately rejected, altered, corrected, or questioned by someone else. These are all forms of social Q & A.
It requires discipline and sterling character not to Q & A, to simply accept another person’s communication, (please note that I said “accept”; this does not necessarily mean “agree with”). In fact, such responses might be out of place at a cocktail party. If you were the only real listener in the group, you’d be too popular. Everyone would crowd around you to tell you things and it would be a drag. You could easily get pinned into a corner and cut off from the hors d’oeuvre trays.
Q & A with a young child, however, is deadly. We start out with an open, clean comm line; it’s free and resilient. If we misuse it, however, it stretches out farther and thinner as the child
grows. When he hits his teens, it snaps back like a rubber band. Bewildered parents are left holding the limp ends in their hands.
Here’s an example of the results of non-Q and A. Lee used to go to bed at night, play for a while and come out and tell me, “Mom, I can’t get to sleep.”
I always answered, “OK.”
Within the next two minutes he always fell asleep.
This happened nearly every night for five years. Occasionally a baby sitter told of trouble getting Lee to sleep. I knew, in such cases, that the sitter assumed Lee’s “can’t sleep” assertion meant that she should do something (turn on the light, read a story, get him a drink).
All such additional actions merely helped keep the “can’t sleep” mechanism alive.
Ron Hubbard made a note worthy discovery about the human mind and communication: If a person looks at something in his reactive mind and describes it accurately and truthfully to someone, it will instantly cease to trouble him provided he tells it to someone who will exactly duplicate the communication and acknowledge it.
Children instinctively try to get rid of something that’s bothering them by telling it to Mother or Dad.
Little Juniper says, “I’m afraid of the dark window.” Mommy, misguidedly, tries to reassure her, “There’s nothing to be afraid of dear; that’s silly.”
So Juniper’s stuck with it. She’s still afraid of the dark window. An acknowledgment wouldn’t find and handle the source of her fear (that’s much earlier), but it could snip it off.
If it did not, at least it says, “I understand.” If the child wants the light left on to dispel her fears, Mother should leave the light on. The one thing Mother shouldn’t do is tell the child not to be afraid.
It won’t work.
By now you can probably see that there are countless ways in which we can alienate a child by not accepting his communication. But, the most devastating (to him) is the failure to accept his confession of an overt act.
What is an “overt act?” Anything we do (or fail to do ) which hurts another.
Billy takes his sister’s toy away from her. That’s an overt. Billy does not open the door for his sister when she is outside crying and unable to reach the door handle. That’s an overt. In the first instance, he did something. In the second, he neglected to do something. Both resulted in sister feeling hurt.
You can do much to enhance the well-being of your child if you make it safe for him to talk to you, safe for him to tell you his overts and, thus, clean them up as they happen. He will try to do this when he’s very young and this is where most parents make their first errors.
Little Abercrombie is playing on the beach. He comes up to Mother and says, “I hit that girl on the head.”
If Mother is very wise, she will say, “Thank you for telling me that.”
If Mother is typical, she will say, “Why, you naughty boy. You must never hit little girls.
You’re going to get a spanking for that.”
Abercrombie gets the message. Not that he shouldn’t hit little girls. He already knew that.
What he learned was this: “I mustn’t tell my Mommy when I do something bad ‘cause I’ll get spanked.”
So this Mother inadvertently takes one of the first steps in making it unsafe for her child to talk to her. Soon he will start “withholding.” He will not tell anyone about his misdeeds.
If you kick the dog every time you come in the door, the dog will soon learn to hide when he hears you coming in the door. If you punish a child for communicating, he learns to stop communicating.
You may wonder (and rightly so), how’s a child going to learn right from wrong if we just say “OK” to everything he does? That’s part of our job as parents. We certainly should teach him the acceptable behavior of our society. If we see him doing something destructive or detrimental to others, we step in, stop him, and explain why this is not a good thing to do.
Accepting his admissions is not the same as condoning overt actions. It is important to make this differentiation. Stop overts by all means; but DON’T STOP HIS COMMUNICATION.
Remember the child is basically good and he doesn’t want to create bad effects on others. He really wants approval and admiration. All of us do.
When he does create a bad effect, he will want to set it straight. He will bring you his mental hurts just as he brings you his skinned knee. He wants you to help make it well. Now, you wouldn’t take that skinned knee and hit it with the hammer a couple more times, would you?
Let’s take the teen-age boy mentioned in the first paragraph. He won’t talk to his parents. They’re not sure where he goes all the time, what he does or who his friends are. Do you really think he doesn’t know his parents’ views on the subjects of driving, stealing, drinking and moral conduct? Of course he does, ( unless he’s been deaf, dumb and blind for the past twelve years of his life). He also knows the accepted mores of his society and he knows the vies points of his educators and religious leaders. There are so many “do good” lectures in his life that he is; probably fed up to the teeth with them. Let me assure you, he doesn’t need another lecture.
He needs an understanding ear. He needs to know; that it is not too late to correct his mistakes and misdeeds of the past. He is unwilling to talk to his parents because he knows they will be unable to accept his communications without Q & A.
After successfully auditing many teenagers, I can tell you that it was never necessary to tell any of them that he was doing something wrong. They told me. And they felt wonderful after they did.
Another question parents ask is this: If you just accept a child’s overts without threat or criticism, won’t he think it’s OK to go right out and commit the same overts again?
No. He will gradually improve. After he gets off overts, he will feel clean and he’ll want to stay that way as much as possible. You cannot completed erase the compulsion to commit overts. This requires auditing. You’ll keep him from piling overts up, however, and this is extremely important.
While I was taking the Special Briefing Course at Saint Hill ( the Scientology College in England ), there was a heavy influx of college students from Sweden. Every weekend a dozen new Swedes arrived to get their lower auditing grades done by the Briefing Course students. They were warm, lovable people, but a surprising number of them were taking drugs or LSD or smoking hash. Scientology policy forbids auditing anyone who is taking drugs, so it was necessary to send such students to our “Ethics” department, where they were firmly acquainted with the policy. Sometimes they were required to wait for a period of time before they were admitted to our auditing lines.
To my knowledge, not one of these students touched drugs after being admitted into Scientology. Instead, they were going on courses and moving along their way to Clear. Now they are all working hard to salvage their friends at home.
I remember one of these boys, a cheerful, nineteen-year old, whom I audited soon after he arrived at Saint Hill. He went back to Sweden a short time later, but before I left Saint Hill, he returned for more auditing and training. During the few months at home, he earned money, went into partnership with some friends to buy an apartment house to provide income, and selected 115 of his friends to come to Saint Hill for auditing and training.
His manner of discussing Scientology was unorthodox, but effective. He told his friends, “Man you gotta try this Scientology. Forget the hash. This auditing is a real trip.”
This boy is making up for any former transgressions. He’s straightened himself out and now he’s dedicated to helping his friends do the same thing.
Don’t worry about “What’s going to become of that child?” Instead, concern yourself first with: “What has happened to him?”
You can’t predict a person’s future with any certainty until you’ve cleaned up his past.
Sometimes, when you find a youngster doing a damaging act of some kind, it’s a good idea to give him a way to cancel or balance it out.
If he’s damaged something, let him repair it, clean it, or replace it.
A number of years ago, I observed a friend of mine with several small children who developed the, habit of coloring her walls with crayons. Although, she spanked, scolded and threatened, her walls were it still decorated regularly.
A few years later, I walked into my living room to: find Paul, the coloring book abandoned, expressing himself in wall murals. He looked at me apprehensively. I did not reprimand him, but said casually, “I see you’ve colored the walls. Well, I’ll let you wash them off for me then.”
I gave him a pail of water and a sponge. It was a difficult job and he pleaded for help several times. I insisted, however, that he finish the job himself. I encouraged him from time to time.
At last, he finished. After that he decided not to pursue this particular art form.
Several years later, Lee also became a parlor Michaelangelo. For one day.
When we were in England, the little three-year old girl who lived in the same cottage came into my living room to visit me. While walking around, she bumped the coffee table and upset a sugar bowl. Frightened, she started to run from the room. I called her back and said, “You clean it up now.”
For the next few minutes, she busied herself brushing sugar off into her tiny hands and making frequent trips to the waste basket. After a time, she announced in triumph: “I did it.”
“Fine. You did a good job.”
She was obviously pleased that her accidental overt was canceled. And, we were still friends.
In the course of his research, Ron Hubbard identified what he named the “Overt—Motivator Sequence.” It goes like this: I ) We do something became more diligent about getting the boys to tell me their overts and withholds.
There was one memorable evening.
Paul was cranky and critical all day (a symptom of O/Ws), so in the evening I took him up to my office for a chat. After a while it was established that he was withholding something. He said, “I’m not going to tell you, or anybody, ever.”
Gently, but firmly, I said, “Yes, you are.”
It wasn’t easy, getting that first withhold. It took me nearly an hour, but it was never so difficult for him again. (Incidentally our codes do not permit the disclosure of personal secrets told to us. Paul would probably permit me to make an exception here, but we’ve both forgotten what it was anyway. )
While we were locked in this mental power struggle, I realized something which has helped me since in pulling thousands of overts from PCs of all ages: No matter what he did and no matter how fiercely he tries to hide, EVERY THETAN REALLY WANTS TO BE FOUND OUT!
As the boys learned more about the sequence of overts and motivators, they observed the phenomena at work all around them. As a result, they became I meticulous about keeping their own O/Ws cleaned up.
One night I sent Lee to bed, telling him he could take two cookies along for a snack. Later I went in to say “Good night.” He lay there looking guilty.
“I’d better tell you my overt,” he said, “I took three cookies instead of two.”
Before I could acknowledge him, he added, “Oh, Mom, I already got my motivator. I was running to hide in bed with my cookies and I banged my foot on the dresser and hurt it.”
I’m convinced that we’ll never make youngsters “go straight” with threats and punishments.
These methods are widely used. Rising crime rates, delinquency, dope addiction, and crowded prisons attest to their failure.
The most effective method I know is to help our youth clean up the past. It is equally important to set a good example by raising our own standards of ethics and honesty. I found that I made my most significant gains in handling the children after I cleaned up my own overts against them. (Such as being neglectful or impatient, or thoughtlessly punishing them.)
It is no surprise that a child accepts hypocrisy as normal if he sees his parents and other adults in his environment breaking lams, lying to their friends and running motivators.
We seldom hear a man say, “I made a mistake at work and that got me into trouble with my boss.”
More often we hear, “That boss of mine is a real . . . Nobody likes him.”
We may hear lots of reasons why a man is not advancing on the job, why he’s not making more money, or why he didn’t get that sale. It isn’t often that we hear the true reason for his difficulties: He has committed overts on that job.
The withhold is powerful. It is the accumulation of withholds that tightens up our faces and makes us look older. It is the withhold that makes us critical of others. It is the withhold that makes us reluctant to communicate. It is the withhold, eventually, that pulls in our misfortunes.
As a matter of routine, if one of the boys seems to be pulling in a lot of problems or is excessively critical, I say, “Sounds as if you have some overts.” So they look, find them, and tell them, after which they feel great.
If you really want to help your child, don’t be fooled by his motivators, even when they sound most reasonable.
One day when we were in England, Lee came to me quite disturbed. He loaned a lock and key to a friend. The friend lost the key and was forced to break the lock. It looked as if he were really an honest victim. His generosity was rewarded with carelessness and destruction.
However, I did not sympathize. I asked him, “Now what could you have done to pull in that motivator?”
After a minute’s thought, a slow grin spread across his face. “Remember that shilling you found on the bed the other day? You asked me if it was mine. Well, I wasn’t really sure it was, but I took it anyway.”
That was the end of his complaint about the broken lock. The next day his friend bought him a new lock. (Incidentally, Lee gave me permission to tell this story.)
As the boys grew older, they developed an appreciation for people who were less reactive than the average.
In the Spring of 1966, they met the first Scientology Clear, John McMaster. He was the first person to follow Ron Hubbard’s ingenious technology all the way to the top, to the highest state of being ever known to man.
In John, the boys found their hero (so did I). Here, in person, was the most powerful person of our acquaintance. He was wise, but unpretentious. A man of infinite warmth and understanding.
After this meeting, we all strengthened our oven goals to go Clear. I was delighted to see the boys so strongly influenced by such a worthy person. I knew then that Paul and Lee would never be led astray by tough guys they might encounter later. The ones who would try to enlist their aid in petty thievery or encourage them to take their first marijuana cigarette.
They would know the “hood” for the reactive weakling he really is.
Now that the boys held stronger goals for self-improvement, they strengthened their determination to commit fewer overts.
They also started keeping me on my toes.
One day we were baking cookies together when I began to complain about a friend, “Why on earth does he do those things? I get so mad at him.”
To this my little six-year old sage said, in a bored voice, “You’ve got overts on him, of course.”
Chapter 8: STICKS AND STONES
“You clumsy fool!” yelled Uncle Exasper, “Now you’ve dropped all the parts. We’ll never get the clock back together.”
Mortimer ran up the basement stairs and through the living room where I was visiting with his mother. Quiet tears were streaming down his cheeks as he entered his room.
“Oh, dear,” his mother said, “He’s always getting into trouble with his uncle, and he tries so hard to help.”
“Does this happen often?” I asked.
“Well, he is pretty clumsy, I’m afraid.”
“No, I don’t mean that. Is he called ‘clumsy’ very often?”
She thought this over. “Yes. He is. Mortimer loves to fix things; but my brother gets rather impatient and critical. He’s not used to young people, you know.”
We talked about the situation for a while. My friend asked if I could suggest something.
“Yes,” I replied instantly, “Help your brother find another place to live.”
After that, I advised, she and her husband should concentrate on restoring the boy’s self confidence.
“Let him work on things, but ignore the little accidents. Compliment him on anything he does well. Keep encouraging him.”
A few weeks later my friend called me. “You won’t believe this . . .”
Well, I did believe her; but it was delightful to hear of the tremendous improvement in her son. “Why he’s handling the most delicate jobs. You know, he’s not really clumsy after all.”
Children taunt each other with the old adage which asserts: “ . . . names will never hurt me.”
This is not true. The spoken word can be as damaging as sticks and stones, and it’s far more subtle.
When a person hurls derogatory names at a child, whether in anger or in jest, he may cast the child into a most undesirable role.
Particularly dangerous are the “You are...” phrases, such as, “You are careless,” “You’re nothing but a lazy bum,” or “You are stupid.” Why? Because he has a reactive mind.
A peculiar characteristic of the reactive mind is that it will go—with hypnotic obedience where we direct it. Naming things can restimulate (or activate) the reactive mind.
When we name undesirable characteristics we invalidate the thetan and magnify the reactive mind. The clumsy child will become clumsier; the lazy child will become lazier; the stupid child will show more stupidity.
The best way to produce poor behavior is to NAME poor behavior. To help a child, we direct his attention to things he does well and to the things we will permit him to do. We do not put his attention on his mistakes and on the activities that are not allowed.
Aunt Miniver brings little Percival into her living room and says grandly, “Now darling, you may play with anything in the room, but you mustn’t touch that vase. It’s very valuable, so NO, NO, NO.”
Now, Percival, if he has a good set of eyes and ears, will make a bee-line for the forbidden vase. Not because it was forbidden, but because Aunt Minny pat his attention on the Ease and nothing else. She would have protected her vase best by ignoring it, finding some interesting trinkets, and telling him he could play with these.
A number of years ago I observed a classic case of such mishandling. The child was thirteen months old and just learning to walk. He was entranced with his new vistas. Busy exploring the novelties now within his reach, he was particularly fascinated by the coffee table with its array of interesting trinkets. When he touched one of them, however, his mother slapped his hands and admonished him, “No. You can’t have that.”
This did little to deter the youngster. He reached again. She slapped again. This marathon continued through the length of my visit.
Neither of them ever won that battle. While the boy grew up, mother continued to slap and yell; and boy continued rebelling. By the time he reached the teens, he logged a remarkable history of accidents and mishaps. She was still naming and his reactive mind was still obligingly following her directions: “See, I told you you were going to fall out of that tree.
Now you’ve probably got a broken arm.”
There is obviously something wrong with a method that reprimands a child for being curious and interested in his environment.
I saw another pair of modern parents handle this situation in quite a different manner. As their first daughter learned to get around the house, the parents stripped every table and shelf within her reach.
The only available objects were the child’s own toys. I was most interested to see how this would work out. It seemed all right on brief inspection. In actual practice, however, it turns the entire house into a nursery. This can be quite uncomfortable for others. When I visited this home, I found that I couldn’t use an ash tray or set down a coffee cup or a purse. The child was led to believe that anything within reach was hers.
By the time Paul and Lee reached the exploring age, I decided on a middle ground, and I put into practice the system of directing attention. As he reached for some object, I let him handle it, telling him what it was called. When he was satisfied, I guided the object back to the table and handed him something else or directed his attention to a toy. Although dangerous articles were removed from low areas, I decided that the little accessories to comfortable living should be shared with the children. None of them was so valuable to me that I couldn’t risk possible breakage. So, the tables remained intact, with plants, china pieces and figurines scattered about. These objects were not forbidden nor was any attention put on them. I never slapped the boys’ hands and they soon lost interest in my things. Incidentally, none of them was ever broken.
If you think something is actually dangerous, remove the child from the danger or remove the danger from the child; but don’t sit there naming danger.
If you intend to help a child increase his abilities, put your attention (and his) on something he can do and help him do it better.
Many parental warnings would be better left unsaid. Instead of telling a boy to be careful he doesn’t get hurt playing ball, you will help him more if you say, “Have a good game. I hope you win.”
Should you find it necessary to remind a child of something he mustn’t do (and there are those days), always follow through by telling him something he is permitted to do. This way you will not leave him with his attention on the negative activity.
Name what you want, because you will get what you name, good or bad.
Chapter 9: WHAT IS SECURITY?
. . . security itself is an understanding. Insecurity is UNKNOWNNESS. When one is insecure, he limply doesn’t know. He is not sure. Men who KNOW are secure. Men who don’t know believe in Luck. ( L. Ron Hubbard, Problems of Work )
Lucifer is sitting in his high chair happily eating a banana. Mother is peeling potatoes at the kitchen sink. The front door slams. Dad rushes into the kitchen. “Oh, you are here. Then where’s the car?”
“I ran out of gas,” Mother answers. “I left it by the drug store.”
Dad, now irritated, says, “When are you ever going to learn that the car needs gas when the gauge reads ‘Empty?’”
“What about you,” screams Mother, “You’re the one who used up all the gas yesterday.”
The battle continues, their voices getting louder and more angry.
Lucifer, watching in wide-eyed bewilderment, puckers up and starts to cry. The forgotten banana plops to the floor.
For Mother and Dad, the quarrel will soon be over and they’ll probably laugh about it later.
Lucifer, however, is more seriously affected. Why? Because the predictability of his environment unexpectedly collapsed. This threatens his security. His parents have become raging strangers. They’re caught up in their own game and the game excludes him. He no longer knows what to expect.
Even an infant, (who may not understand the words of a quarrel ), will pick up the emotions.
This restimulates his reactive mind and he will feel upset.
To any person, (and especially a young child), security is predictability The infant must know that his parents are there and that they will continue to be there while he is dependent on them.
Preventing upsets is important to the child’s sanity. Unpredictable occurrences will restimulate the reactive mind. Too many of them will cause the child to fed insecure.
Little three-year old Jenny runs to her mother with arms outstretched, “I love you, Mommy. ‘
Mother, writing a letter, says, “Don’t bother me right now, dear.”
Jenny expected her affection to be returned, but it was rejected. This may seem a minor occurrence, but it can leave a scar.
Jenny comes to tell Mommy that her dolly is sleeping. Mommy is still busy and ignores the communication. Another possible scar.
Mother takes Jenny shopping. Jenny says, “But I don’t like that dress.”
“Now, it’s a nice dress, dear. You’ll like it.”
Jenny expected Mother to understand and agree with her about the dress. Mother didn’t.
To reduce upsets, make things predictable and consult the child’s willingness. For a young infant to feel safe, he should be kept warm and well fed. He also needs to be handled and talked to and noticed.
Don’t put him into an unsafe environment to play. I’m repeatedly shocked at the number of children who must be rushed to hospitals for stomach pumping after swallowing some harmful object. Such things should not be accessible to a child. In addition to the physical damage, it shakes up his certainty to be hurt in an environment which he expected to be safe.
Don’t throw away any of the child’s possessions without getting his permission. I say this even though I know what you’re likely to find in a boy’s pocket on wash day. However, we move in the wrong circles to understand the proper value of a broken marble, a dried snake skin, two bottle caps and an ancient turkey claw.
If the family is making some kind of drastic change, such as moving to a new home or bringing Grandma to live with them, the child should be told the details ahead of time.
If he is going to a new place (nursery school, kindergarten, or vacation trip) this should be thoroughly described to the child. Let him know what to expect.
If you are going to leave a child with someone, tell him about it ahead of time. Some parents are real cowards about this. They hire a sitter and while she distracts the child, they slip out unnoticed. This is a cruelty, for the child usually goes into hysterics when he discovers the parents’ absence. This can cause a child to develop a great deal of anxiety about losing his parents. He never knows when they may disappear. He may become suspicious of every visitor.
If you tell a child you’re going out and he cries about it, go out anyway. Most children stop such crying as soon as the car is out of the garage. Such behavior means that you were unpredictable in the past or the child thinks that crying will make you change your mind.
There can be locational insecurity. If a child is swung violently around the room and set down abruptly, he can feel disoriented. Most youngsters enjoy a lot of motion; but if a child seems confused or frightened, don’t do it.
No child should be forced to do or say something that he finds embarrassing. Many misguided parents insist that little Milktoast play the piano, recite his poem, or “Tell Mrs. Indifferent that cute little story.”
Forced performances can make him less sure of himself. Also, do not force a youngster to show affection that is not real to him. If he doesn’t want to kiss Aunt Agatha, don’t make him do it.
Tell the child the truth. If he finds that you lied to him about something, you become unpredictable to him. If there is something upsetting the adults in the family, the child should be told about this. Otherwise, he may fed that he is the cause of the worry or irritation. A child can absorb a tremendous amount of truth; do not be afraid to give it to him.
Sometimes a child will worry about something in the future. This can be solved with communication. Find out what he doesn’t understand.
Lee told me once that he was never going to get married. He added that he didn’t know how to get a girlfriend or what you’re supposed to say to one. We talked it over, and I answered all of his questions. A week later, he told me about four different girlfriends. With this kind of a harem in the First Grade, I decided not to worry about his ability to cope with girls when he reached marriageable age.
Part of predictability is helping a child learn how to contribute to the family survival and how to take care of himself. He gains security by getting confidence. He gets confidence by learning to do a great many things.
Don’t care for a child so well that he doesn’t learn how to take care of himself.
Instead of fussing at him every morning, “Let me zip up your coat. Where’s your hat? Don’t forget to put your mittens on,” just let him go as he dresses himself.
If he gets cold walking to school, he’ll learn, quickly, how to dress himself well.
Given a bit of self-confidence, one day the child will be reassuring you, as Lee did soon after he started in kindergarten. He told me it was all right if I went out shopping and couldn’t get home by the time he returned from school. He wouldn’t worry about me. “Anyway,” he added, “I know you’ll be back sometime and I know where you keep the cookies.”
Here’s one last point on the subject of predictability. I used to wonder why some children cry when given vaccination shots. In my own experience, I did not find them to be painful.
Perhaps, I decided, it was only the unpredictability of them. To test this theory, I prepared Paul for his first shots when he was three months old. While the doctor was out of the room, I told Paul that the doctor was going to put a needle in “right here.” I put my fingernail on his arm, poking it several times until he was used to receiving sensation in that area. When the doctor came in and administered the shot, Paul looked on with casual interest. No shock; no tears; no surprise.
I used this successfully until he was six. At that time, however, he received an unexpected shot from a doctor. He screamed in terror and kept on screaming for some time. It was the first time he felt a shot as “pain.” More than two years later, he still cringed in fear if he thought that he might need another shot.
Later, for his sake and mine, I eliminated his fear by handling the incident in an auditing session.
I used the same method with Lee. He’s such an opportunist, in fact, that he made a deal with the last nurse who gave him a shot.
She gaily promised to give him a lollipop after getting his shot. He grinned at her, (like a card shark with a loaded deck), and said, “For two suckers I won’t even cry.”
Chapter 10: FIGHTS, FITS, AND TEARS
Mergatroid goes into a screaming rage because he can’t have a cookie; Pertonella bursts into tears when her dolly’s dress won’t fit; Little Squishlena runs and hides in the closet when the doorbell rings; Mother stands in the middle of the domestic chaos and considers suicide; Daddy appears calm, but would like to murder the lot.
These are all reactive emotions. They are real, they’re uncontrolled, and, in spite of the apparent provocation, they’re inappropriate for the occasion.
A trained Scientologist would describe these attitudes as certain points on the Emotional Tone Scale ( See copy of the Tone Scale at the end of this chapter). The Tone Scale is a sequence of emotional attitudes (or tones) going from the lowest level of survival (which is Apathy) to the highest (which is Serenity of Beingness).
The scale was developed by L. Ron Hubbard after years of research and observation. He observed that when a person experienced a heavy loss or upset, he would drop down to a low tone. As the situation improved, or the person recovered, he would rise through certain progressive attitudes to his usual tone range. This is why there is a particular order to the points on the scale. The numbers assigned to the tones are not significant.
An individual fluctuates up and down the scale as he experiences good or bad fortune.
However, he averages out at a particular tone most of the time, and this tone influences his actions and thoughts about life. In fact, his tone is his “outlook on life.”
If you studied all of Ron Hubbard’s material on the Tone Scale, you would find it useful. On meeting a new person, you could tell his tone within seconds, and you would instantly know a great deal about him. You would know how well he could do a job, what kind of things he would talk about, what would make him laugh, how he would respond to a new idea, whether or not he could relay a communication accurately, how he handles people, and how well he is liked. Knowing the Tone Scale can help you in selecting a friend or a business associate, (whether a boss or an employee ).
To understand the emotional reactions of your child, study the chart and notice the placement, or sequences of attitudes. The person who is higher on the Tone Scale is more alive; he will contribute to the survival of those around him. A lower toned person is less alive, and he will be destructive to his environment. The dividing line is 2.0. Above this point a person is being analytical most of the time; he is contributing to life. He will try to succeed.
Below 2.0, a person is increasingly reactive and will try to stop things being done. He takes on any job with such negative hopes that he usually fails.
In handling a child it will help to recognize his emotional tones and their sequence. If he is crying one minute and angry the next, he is coming up tone. If these emotions are reversed, he’s going down.
How you handle each tone depends upon your own skill and mobility. I can only give you a few do’s and don’ts.
Do not try to reason with a reactive tone. It’s a triggered automaticity. If you sat and argued with a record player you would get about the same results. You can ignore a reactive tone, acknowledge it, understand it; but don’t argue with it.
Don’t condemn a person for the tone he’s in; it’s just a suit of clothes he’s wearing today.
Most individuals settle into lower and lower tones as they grow older. Children fluctuate up and down tone a great deal. Although we can’t eliminate their low tones without auditing out the actual source, (the reactive mind), we can do much to help improve a child’s tone.
If you notice that a certain environment, condition, person or words produce any of the lowtoned manifestations in a youngster, do what you can to eliminate these restimulators. If he gets frightened when he must go into the basement, don’t force him to go there alone. When an infant cries, try feeding him. Nine times out of ten he’ll be hungry, and he doesn’t want to wait. If the child gets disturbed when Uncle Willie teases him, do not permit such teasing.
You and others should not deliberately push a child’s “buttons.” That is, do not say and do things which restimulate the reactive bank. When we are close to someone we quickly learn what words or situations will trigger certain emotions in him. We know just how to make him cry, or get angry or afraid. Pushing buttons is irresponsible and low toned behavior itself.
If one tone is chronically restimulated, (the button is pushed too much), the person may drop into that tone chronically. If he is repeatedly put into situations that are frightening to him, he will eventually become fearful and cautious about everything.
Generally, the low tones are triggered automatically from a source unknown to the individual. However, a child may also adopt a certain tone because it “solves” things in his environment.
If you don’t praise a child when he is doing something cheerfully and well, and you do respond when he does something low-toned, the child will start using low tones more often in order to create an effect on you.
Little Mortimer runs excitedly into the house. “Mama, the ice cream truck is coming! May I have some? “
“No. Not today.”
Mortimer drops to Antagonism (“I want some; why can’t I?”) Mama still says “No,” so he gets angry. If Mama persists, he will continue to drop through the tones. He may try to butter her up by telling her what a nice Mommy she is, he may offer her something, plead for sympathy, shed tears, and, finally, go into apathy.
If Mama stays with her decision and ignores the histrionics, the child will soon recover and come back upscale. However, if she gives in at any point along the line, the child w ill soon adopt that tone for future use. If crying gets the ice cream cone, he will cry when he wants something. If Mama spanks him for being angry, but gives in when he pretends to be nice, he will become a Covert Hostility case in order to win with Mama.
We surrender to the tone we can least tolerate. Thus, ironically, we create the very environment that bothers us most. If you can’t stand tears, you will react to them. Therefore, when the child wants to create an effect on you, he cries.
Thus the game of life spins on in its downward spiral, with loved ones helping to drive each other closer to madness each day.
Notice your surrender point. At what emotion do you give in with a reward or some type of attention (even punishment) ? If you seldom respond to a child until he gets noisy and troublesome, you will find yourself with a noisy and troublesome youngster. If you never give affection until he’s sick or hurt, there is a potential invalid.
In our former neighborhood, Paul played with a young friend who was usually at Antagonism or Boredom. Occasionally this boy’s mother called him at our house to ask him to return home or run an errand. On such an occasion, he instantly adopted a whining attitude (0.9).
His voice and manner changed completely. One would hardly recognize him as the same boy who was boisterously playing games a few minutes earlier. This, obviously, was the best way to handle Mother. It is predictable that if this boy grows up and marries a girl who reminds him of Mother, he will become a chronic Sympathy case.
When dealing with a child, it would be well to remember one of Ron Hubbard’s Axioms:
AXIOM 10: THE HIGHEST PURPOSE IN THIS UNIVERSE IS THE CREATION OF AN EFFECT. (L. Ron Hubbard, Axioms of Scientology )
You will find that everyone is trying to create an effect. Primarily, we all want to create a good effect. We seek admiration and approval of our efforts most of all. Here is the child making things to show you or climbing a tree or hitting the baseball. He wants you to admire his accomplishment. Your approving communication is his “pay.”
If a child fails to get admiration or approval, he will still try to create an effect. He may just strive to be noticed—to be conspicuous. He may act noisy and hold. He may dress in weird, flashy clothes or affect an unusual hair style.
Failing all else, he may actually seek to be punished. He is still just trying to create some effect. To a neglected child, even a spanking is better than being totally ignored. None of us want the feeling that no one knows or cares that we exist.
A friend of mine was at a party where a group of adults decided to tease a young child by pretending not to notice him. They took turns looking right past the boy and saying, “Where is Billy? I wonder where he could have gone?”
At first the child smiled and playfully cried “Here I am.”
After a few minutes, however, he found he was still “invisible” to the group. He went rapidly down scale, hitting out at others, pleading to be seen. Eventually, he just sat down and cried.
This seems cruel and inhuman. It was. Yet, to some degree, many of us do this to a child in a more subtle manner When we do not “see” his upscale activities or abilities, but see only the faults, we never acknowledge the thetan. It is as if we were saying ‘You are not there. Only your bank is there.”
It is important to differentiate whether or not an emotion is natural for the occasion It would be quite unnatural, for instance, if a child felt, no grief at a serious loss, or if he stood calmly relaxed in the face of an onrushing tiger. Also, because of the reactive bank, a child may feel grief at the loss of a small trinket, because it restimulates an earlier and greater loss He may feel fear of a cat, because it restimulates an earlier fear. In such cases, acknowledge that you understand how he feels. Don’t ever tell a child not to cry when he is in grief or not to be afraid when he is in fear.
Just notice that he doesn’t get into a habit of using low tones to get attention or sympathy from you. If he cries because you won’t give him a cookie, ignore this and let him come back upscale. Give the cookie only when he is cheerful and good natured. If he flies into a rage because you won’t help him put his toy together, ignore the rage and wait until he can ask for help in a rational manner.
Occasionally one of the boys used to try using a low tone on me to get something he wanted.
When this happened, I simply said, “Now, you know that tone won’t make me change my mind.”
I am generally pretty firm about the rules in the household. This saves a lot of wrangling and gains respect for discipline. However, I try to maintain some flexibility on the individual decisions I hand down. There were occasions when I found that I was being more reactive than the boys were. Therefore, if they could come to me with a solution that was more upscale than mine, I would listen.
One time I forbade Paul to go to a church Youth Group function because of some misdemeanor committed at home. After I voiced my decision on the matter, we learned that the Youth Group was scheduled to visit a local radio station. He did not want to miss the trip and I regretted my decision; but I did not want to relax my discipline altogether.
On the day of the scheduled trip, Paul approached me. “Mom, could we re-open negotiations on this Youth Group trip?”
“Well, I’d like to make a deal. If you’ll let me go on the trip, I’ll fix my own lunches and bring you breakfast in bed for a week.”
Since he was handling the situation in an upscale manner, (and since I like breakfast in bed), I accepted his offer to trade penalties. Could any mother resist a deal like that?
The fact that the children could be more upscale than I on certain issues was demonstrated by Lee when he was four years old. It was spring. The water in the lake was still cold and I told the boys not to go swimming until it warmed up a bit more. One day, however, the temptation was irresistible to Lee. He was playing around the beach. First he got his feet wet, soon his pant legs. Before long, he managed to fall in. Since he was already wet, he remained to swim a while.
The next day, I told him he must stay in the house all day. He said, “OK.”
He sat down to play with his trucks. Some reactiveness in me, however was not satisfied with this easy acceptance. I said, “Lee, you’re being punished for going in the water yesterday.”
He looked at me calmly. With the dignity of a very wise thetan, he said, “I m not being punished.”
While he went back to his play, I experienced chagrin and admiration. He agreed to go along with my ruling on the subject, but he did not agree to feel degraded. I think we often have this choice.
THE EMOTIONAL TONE SCALE
40.0 SERENITY OF BEINGNESS
1.2 NO SYMPATHY
1.1 COVERT HOSTILITY
( by L. Ron Hubbard, taken from “The Tone Scale” chart)
Chapter 11: RESPONSIBILITY AND JUDGMENT
What terrible willpower is demanded of a parent not to give constant streams of directions to a child. (L. Ron Hubbard, SCIENTOLOGY. A New Slant on Life)
“Don’t you ever go over there again. Do you hear? Never. Never. Never.”
I shook Paul’s shoulders as I screamed at him. He was confused and frightened at my rage.
Then I realized that I was not doing the right thing. I left him alone. I needed to think this over.
Across the road was a creek, high-banked with large rocks and rapid waters. Fatal was forbidden to go near it. Now, nearly live years old, and getting adventurous he followed his friends to the creek. This happened twice within the previous week. I could not understand such flagrant disobedience; it was quite unlike him.
After considering the situation, I decided that I was being over-protective. I returned to talk with him. I explained that I was going to put him on his own responsibility for his safety. If he wanted to live and grow up, I told him, he must learn to notice dangerous situations and avoid them or handle them. I reminded him that if he wanted to play near the creek, I would not be nearby to help if there were any trouble. We left matters this way. There wore no mishaps with the creek during the four years we remained in that area.
I learned a valuable lesson from this incident. It is far better to let a child know that he is responsible for his own survival than to keep making a lot of unenforceable rules to govern his conduct.
Today I would understand this situation much better than I did then. His desire to follow his friends and explore new spaces was natural and unaberrated. I was the reactive one with my fears and over-protectiveness. So it was a case of the bank (mine) trying to stop the being.
Nerve-wracking though it may be, we must permit a child to make his own mistakes, if necessary in order to learn.
From time to time, I told the boys, “Now remember, this is your body. You are in charge of its survival.
This general reminder was worth more than a thousand rules. The boys gradually learned good judgment, because they were using their own. Not mine.
This point is well illustrated in an incident that occurred several years later. We had moved to a new lakefront home. Paul was an excellent swimmer and knew the rules of water safety.
Lee, however, was less than three years old and was not yet able to swim.
Soon after we were settled, I took Lee down to the community beach. Another woman was there with a boy of the same age. She was keeping him in the shallow water, protecting him and cautioning him constantly.
I decided to let Lee go on his own into the water with no words of caution from me. I was wearing my bathing suit, so I sat on the beach ready to help if needed. He started to play and splash around. After a while, he ventured out a little further. He was in too deep before he realized it, and he went undergo was preparing to help him when he rose up again, coughing water, but on firm ground. Soon he came up to me on shore and told me, “I got water in my nose.”
He went back. A few minutes later he was diving under water and trying to swim. He didn’t go out too far again.
Shortly after that the other little boy (the well protected one ) was being fished out of the deer water by the Red Cross swimming instructor. In an unguarded moment, apparently, he escaped front his mother and plunged, recklessly, out into the deep water—right over his head.
If we try to protect a child too much he depends on us, rather than on himself. There is no opportunity to develop good judgment and responsibility.
Sometimes I am quite surprised to hear parents of nearly grown children still screaming the kind of advice and admonitions (generally unheeded) that I stopped giving Lee soon after infancy. Parents who insist on telling teenagers when to blow their noses and wear their gloves are usually the same ones who complain about the poor judgment of the children.
Judgment comes from learning by experience. Responsibility is developed gradually, by giving a child things to do.
You have no right to deny your child the right to contribute. A human being feels able and competent only so long as he is permitted to contribute as match as or more, than he has contributed to him. ( L. Ron Hubbard, SCIENTOLOGY: A New Slant on Life)
As part of his first contribution, a child will want to start taking care of himself. He’ll try to feed himself, go to the toilet alone, and put on his own clothing.
There is probably no frustration greater than watching a youngster dressing for the first time.
It may be necessary to sit on your hands to keep from interfering; but, when he does demonstrate the desire to care for himself, let him.
Next, he will wish to do something for the family. Let him. His early help may get rather exhausting, but it will be rewarding later. Let him select the jobs he wants to do as much as you can. See that he gets jobs that are easy for him. Praise him for doing them and he’ll come back for more.
Children handled this way will fight for the privilege of contributing. If you wait until the child is old enough to do something you consider useful before you let him do his share you’ll find that he no longer wants to work.
A friend of mine was too impatient to accept the fumbling offerings of her two young sons.
Later, when they were eight and ten years old, she decided to give them some chores. Now, her job was a difficult one. They were lazy and indifferent. They whined and begged to get out of work, and sometimes they just ignored her orders entirely.
Once a child selects (or is given) a job to do do not permit anyone to take it away from him.
He needs to finish jobs in order to develop responsibility for ending cycles. This will gradually build up his confidence.
In addition to permitting the child to do things and to learn by experiences he should be given as much knowledge as possible about life. This will help him exercise good judgment in situations which would otherwise be confusing.
I find the children to be extremely good in the practical application of the Scientology data I’ve given them. In fact, they are seldom interested in fancy sounding philosophy. Instead, they insist on examples. They want to see that an idea works. As a result of this, they are able to look at many situations in life and quickly evaluate them.
Shortly after Lee started to school in England he amazed our landlady ( an old-time Scientologtist ) when she asked him how he liked his teacher. Lie replied, “Oh, she’s all right; but she’s quite a motivatorish case.”
Dumbfounded, the landlady asked, “What do you mean by that, dear?”
“Well, she keeps blaming the kids all the time and talking about how bad they behave.
Actually, she just doesn’t know how to control the class.” He added “I don’t tell her that of course.”
Chapter 12: GIVE YOUR CHILD HIS FUTURE
As long; as we address the spirit, as long as we return to the individual some belief and faith in himself, he gets better, brighter, his IQ. goes up, his ability to handle things gets better, he gets more powerful, more persistent and he becomes kinder and more merciful, more tolerant, less critical. (L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science)
If Mom is convinced that ballet lessons are a must, she should take them.
Although it may look odd to see a thirty-year old woman hanging onto a bar and flinging a slightly plump leg in the air, the sight is not as pathetic as seeing her seven-year old daughter grimly going through such motions just to please her mother, when she would prefer to be at home designing new doll clothes.
Although some parents are never quite ready to accept this fact, the child is not one of our possessions. We don’t own him; we never will. We gave birth to his body; he may share some of our physical characteristics; but he does not inherit our desires.
He’s a different person, a separate entity, with his own likes and dislikes.
It’s a grave mistake to try to override a child’s power of choice in what he wants to be and do. Some parents do this in an attempt to live their lives through the child.
Jimmy wants to be a scientist, but Dad wants him to be a star baseball player, because Dad was not good enough himself.
Before he is ten years old, nearly every child shows an interest in some particular activity. It may be music, dancing, sports, science, art, or a manual skill of some kind. If handled correctly, he will learn and expand on this line. It can provide a lifetime of pleasure for him, and, possibly a good livelihood.
If you do the wrong thing with a youngster’s early interests, however, he may abandon them and spend his life regretfully trying to fit into the wrong mold.
In auditing, I found many adults regretfully in the wrong occupation because of early parental influence. I worked with one engineer who always wanted to be a salesman. I met a professor of philosophy who wanted to be a singer and a salesman who really wanted to be a photographer. You can probably think of a dozen examples of this yourself.
In fact, it is a rare delight to meet the individual who is in the right profession—the one he dreamed of as a child. When we do find such a person the chances are good that he’ll be both satisfied and successful in his work.
In addition to forcing our own interests on a child, there are two other ways in which we can squash his own goals. We can inhibit his purposes by making nothing of them. We can enforce his goals by making too much of them.
The first way is obvious. After all, the youngster looks to us for approval of the things he does. If we ridicule or make nothing of his early attempts he may abandon his activities along this line. However, he will never completely abandon his dreams.
Enforcing the goal is a more subtle action.
Junior expresses a desire to play the violin. His indulgent parents are so pleased that they over acknowledge this goal, (remember that an acknowledgment is a stop). They rush out and buy the boy a Stradivarius, hire the best teacher, and insist that he practice three hours a day.
Soon they will stop wondering why Junior lost his interest in the violin.
He is no longer at cause over his ambition; he is effect. His parents have taken it over and are now controlling it. They will probably compound the mistake by reminding him, “But, dear, this is what you wanted. We’re only trying to do something for you.”
A person’s goals are rather fragile in their early stages. If his first efforts are heavily invalidated, he may never improve.
If he talks about his purpose and it is too strongly accepted and admired, he may “blow” it (erase it), and never pursue it further. This is why some of our worst characteristics stay in place (they’re never acknowledged), and why some of our best purposes are thwarted (they’re over-acknowledged).
Do not underestimate the power of your acknowledgment.
Always acknowledge and admire a child’s accomplishments—the things already done. This allows him to end the cycle on them. He is now free to do more and better things along this line. Help project his goal into the future.
Don’t heavily acknowledge something the child is planning to do. Worry with him about how to get it done. Keep it afire by showing interest or offering suggestions. Don’t you take over his goals; just be a spectator. And do keep your enthusiasm muzzled.
If a youngster needs lessons or equipment, make sure he reaches for some assistance before you offer any. If possible, find ways for him to earn part of the money necessary to finance his venture. It’s surprising how much work a child will do to further himself on a goal he really wants.
Once he is working on something don’t interfere with his progress. Admire what he’s done; show an interest; but never insist that he practice or work on it.
Paul became interested in playing the drums in the sixth grade. Thinking it a passing whim, I did not buy him his first drum until more than a year later. Next, he wanted a set of cymbals.
When I wouldn’t buy them, he went out and earned the necessary money (in one week), by mowing grass and washing cars for the neighbors. He later persuaded his father to buy him the rest of the drum set.
His interest in drumming never waned; he plays them at every opportunity. I never suggested that he practice, nor have I interfered with his practicing.
Lee’s strongest interest is in art. At the age of three, when his attention span was limited to minutes in most activities, he spent two or three hours at a time coloring or painting.
By the time he was four he outgrew crayons and dime store paints. He wanted professional water colors and top quality paper.
I keep him supplied with materials in exchange for the first choice of his finished paintings.
Since he enjoys a rare combination of talents, (he’s both an artist and a salesman), he started early to capitalize on the admiration his work received. He began selling his pictures for a penny each. Later, when we moved to England, he raised the price of each painting to three pence.
Today he leads a double life. To satisfy his teachers ( and their conventional taste in art), he tries to stay within the lines of the coloring book and choose the right color of crayon.
At home he paints hauntingly beautiful abstracts, holds private showings (he only shows to people he likes), and makes steady sales. His work is now owned by people living in Detroit, New York, Washington, DC., and various parts of England, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
I’m certain that if he wishes to continue his art, nothing will stop his success.
What is success, after all, but doing what you really want to do? Maybe you really wanted to be a photographer. You can probably think of a dozen examples of this yourself.
Chapter 13: THE SUPPRESSIVE PERSON[See: Suppressive person (SP)]
All men have committed acts of violence or omission for which they could be censored. In all Mankind there is not one single perfect human being. But there are those who try to do right and those who specialize in wrong and upon these facts and characteristics you can know them. (L. Ron Hubbard, Ability, Issue 189, “The Social Personality”)
As I walked into the kitchen, the housekeeper greeted me by saying that Paul was sick again.
I couldn’t understand what was wrong with him. For nearly a month, I had been away from home on week days while helping some friends in their new Franchise Canter (A Scientology Franchise Center is run by one or more trained individuals who offer preliminary auditing and classes to the public).
During that-time, Paul was sick twice and suffered two severe injuries. Lee, I realized, was often cranky and irritable.
I wondered about the new housekeeper. The boys seemed to like her. She was an expert at fishing and they enjoyed this sport with her. Still, the boys were doing a Roller Coaster. That is, they were cycling up and down. One day they were fine and the next day they dropped down tone or became sick. This meant that someone in their environment was a Suppressive Person.
I took out my notes on Suppressives (SPs). The data was new to me at the time and I was far from expert on applying it.
The children were obviously Potential Trouble Sources (PTSs). This is what we call a person who is connected to a suppressive person. They were certainly giving me a great deal of trouble.
After I examined my notes, the truth was clear. Our nice, helpful housekeeper alas an SP. I dismissed her immediately, and tallied with the boys about her influence on them. Soon the household was back to normal.
Later, Ron Hubbard gave us more information on the characteristics of an SP. I learned to respect the importance of this data and now believe that every parent should use this information if he wants to raise a sane, healthy, and happy child.
It is well to know that the person who is noisily giving you trouble may not be the SP; he’s more likely a PTS. The suppressive will be in the background, quietly smiling and looking quite normal. Actually the SP is insane, but the symptoms are so subtle that it is often someone strongly under his influence who is judged insane.
The SP is basically good (as are all men), and his motives are for survival. However, he is stuck in an early incident that threatened his survival and he feels that he must destroy that enemy. The difficulty is this: He considers all of us to be that enemy.
Because of this, the SP specializes in stopping others. In order to feel safe, he thinks, everything in his environment must be kept still. He will discourage people from seeking self-improvement, from doing successful things, and from communicating. He will undermine our successes and attempt to take our attention off our main purposes and put them on lower purposes.
One reason it is difficult to identify the SP is because he speaks in generalities. Instead of saying that he heard one news commentator discussing a possible business slump, he will say “Everybody’s predicting a big depression.”
He will frequently use words such as “they,” “people,” “no one,” always,” etc.
The Suppressive deals in gossip and news of an alarming nature. He will eagerly pass on bad news and will neglect to pass on any good news (or he will alter it so it sounds bad).
The boss tells an SP employee: “Joe’s doing a great job. When he gets a little more experience, I’m going to promote him.”
The SP goes to Joe and relays his conversation with the boss; but it comes out like this: “The boss told me he thinks you’ve really got a lot to learn before you’ll get any promotions.”
The Suppressive Person finds it difficult to end cycles. This can show up in different ways.
Perhaps he is unable to finish jobs. Or, if he does complete something he’ll go back and start working on it again. He may have trouble ending a conversation or leaving after a visit. If he moves around much, he often leaves a trail of abandoned possessions behind him. In a conversation with him, he’s likely to flit from subject to subject, interjecting questions and comments; you may find your head spinning with incomplete thoughts and communications.
An SP will attack the wrong target. If he fails to make a sale, he may blame the boss for coming in late, or his wife for buying a new dress.
He may confess to alarming overts with complete aplomb, whereas the sane person is ashamed of his misdeeds and errors.
The SP will advocate destructive actions, more punishment, war, tougher prisons, etc.
The people around the SP will be disturbed unhappy and frequently ill.
The SP cannot be spotted by social position or IQ. He may occupy a prominent or a low position. He may be brilliant, average or stupid.
By whatever covert or overt method, the Sly attempts to make nothing of us. He may subtly belittle our accomplishments; he may make fun of us in jest; he may tell us of someone who failed at something we are trying to do.
After spending some time with him, we feel less sure of ourselves, less able, less attractive, and he’ll begin to believe that those brilliant plans were just foolish dreams.
By now, you must realize that your child should not be connected to a Suppressive person. If he (gets sick or extremely reactive every time he visits Aunt Benign, then do not permit further visits to dear Aunty. This may sound cruel, but in Scientology we learn ( after many failures ), that no person can improve himself while he is connected to an SP.
Now, if you’re human, you’ve probably committed suppressive acts yourself at times. If you’re a parent, it’s practically inevitable.
This does not necessarily make you an SP. The difference is one of motivation. A parent with good intentions is always trying to do the right thing. When he does something suppressive, he will regret it and he will seek to change for the better.
The SP takes pride in not improving. Although its origin is obscure and unknown (even to himself), his only goal is to destroy. The purpose of Scientology is exactly opposite to that of the suppressive. For this reason, we (as a group and individually) are often attacked by suppressives.
There are certain characteristics and mental attitudes which cause about 20% of a race to oppose violently any betterment activity or group.
Such people are known to have anti-social tendencies . . .. . . When we trace the cause of a failing business, we will inevitably discover somewhere in its ranks the anti-social personality hard at work.
In families which are breaking up we commonly find one or the other of the persons involved to have such a personality.
Where life has become rough and is failing, a careful review of the area by a trained observer will detect one or more suppressive personalities at work. (L. Ron Hubbard, Ability, Issue 188 “The Anti-social Personality. The Anti-Scientologist.”)
If your children Roller Coaster (or if anyone in the family does), find the SP in the environment, handle him or see that the children disconnect from him. If you are unable to locate the SP, you may need the help of a professional auditor, who uses special processes for doing this.
There is many a so-called “problem child” who is merely PTS. He could be quickly cured of his major difficulties if someone were to locate the SP around him and see that he is removed from that influence.
I can tell you from experience that it’s delightful magic to see a person recover his natural beauty and confidence when the correct SP is found.
I could best summarize this data by reminding you:
IT IS NOT NATURAL TO SWING BETWEEN HAPPINESS AND DESPAIR. FIND THE SUPPRESSIVE PERSON.
Chapter 14: THE BODY
The less fuss made about food, the better. Mealtimes should be pleasant and relaxed with upscale conversation. Little attention should be placed on the food or what the children are eating.
We should never force a child to eat. I wouldn’t get enthused if someone placed a dish of fried snake brains (or any dish I thought repulsive) in front of me, not even if they coaxed, “Eat it. It’s good for you.”
I made an agreement with the boys. They needn’t eat anything they didn’t like. However, there must be no critical remarks about the food. Just eat it or don’t eat it, but the dinner conversation should be kept constructive. If they feel they are going to starve because of an inedible menu, they are permitted to fix something of their own, but this must cause no extra work for me. (Since this would be extra work for them, they seldom exercise this option. )
There was one hilarious exception to the “no criticism” rule the night I prepared what I considered a delicious new casserole.
Lee took his first bite and solemnly pronounced his judgment: “Mmm. Tastes just like the dog’s food.”
Paul and I gaped at him for a minute. In unison, we asked, “How do you know what the dog’s food tastes like?”
“Well, I tried it, of course.”
I believe that an ounce of vitamins is worth a pound of penicillin, so I’ve learned quite a bit about preparing nutritious meals and supplementing them with a balance of vitamins and minerals.
In Scientology practice we learn that improper food or insufficient rest causes easier restimulation of the bank, so the health of the body can influence the mind. It also works the other way. The mind can influence the body. In fact, the reactive mind is the source of many illnesses. These are called psychosomatic (or mentally caused) illnesses.
Many injuries or illnesses can best be handled with a bit of first aid, either at home or at the doctor’s office. On other ailments, there are a few things you can do to help.
The most important rule to remember is this: WHEN A CHILD IS INJURED, IN PAIN, OR VERY ILL, SAY NOTHING WITHIN HIS HEARING.
He is in the middle of an incident which is being recorded in the reactive mind (we call this an engram). Your words could cause a deadly effect on him when restimulated later.
If he is hurt, hold on to him and comfort him in silence. When he is able to speak to you again, his analytical mind is coming back in charge (during moments of pain and unconsciousness the analytical mind shuts down and the reactive mind records every perception of the environment). The child will instinctively try to run out the incident by telling you what happened. You may then do an “assist,” which will alleviate the pain.
Contact Assist: Take him back to the location of the injury and ask him to duplicate exactly what happened at the time of injury. If he bumped his knee on the step, he should get every part of his body in the same position it was at that time, with the injured knee touching the same place on the step. Get him to repeat this several times, placing his knee against the step.
Ask him how it’s going and whether the pain has turned on again. When he exactly duplicates the original action, the pain will recur and it will blow off soon. After this happens, you end the assist
Touch Assist: When it is not possible to do a contact assist, do a touch assist. Tell the child to close his eyes, put your finger at various spots on and near the injury, each time saying, “Feel my finger,” and acknowledging with “Thank you.”
Do this until the pain turns on strong again. Soon after that, it will turn off completely.
From time to time you should ask how it feels. Touch areas that are farther away from the head than the injury. That is, if his knee is hurt, touch the injured area as well as spots below the knee. This puts his attention through the injury. Also, you should touch the opposite side of the body as well. If the pain is in the right leg, touch the same area on the left leg on alternate commands.
Mothers are doing a touch assist instinctively, when they kiss the bump or bruise.
I never reward sickness by bringing toys to the children or waiting on them in bed. If they need shots or pills, they go to the doctor. If they need an assist, I give one. Being a professional auditor, I sometimes gave the boys successful auditing assists when the illness was psycho-somatic. (Let me hasten to add that physical healing is not our business. Our job is to rehabilitate the spiritual being.)
When Paul was about ten years old, he often suffered some kind of ailment when it was nearly time to leave for school. I usually questioned him about what was going on that day.
Sometimes a test was coming up or perhaps his homework was unfinished. The sickness usually turned off when he realized what was happening. (Today we would probably address this type of thing by looking for the suppressive influence.)
One morning I was sitting at breakfast with some Scientology friends who were visiting us.
Paul came dragging into the room and moaned, “I don’t feel so good, Mom.”
After looking at me for a minute, he grinned “Never mind. It’s OK now.”
He raced off to his room to get dressed.
One of my Scientology friends turned to me and said, “Boy! I’ve seen some snazzy auditing in my time, but what kind of a miracle process was that? Right in the middle of breakfast.”
Both boys possess a remarkable talent for picking up thoughts or pictures in someone else’s mind. This led to the most dramatic “cure” in my career. Paul, age twelve, returned from a weeks camping trip with a bad case of laryngitis. He could not speak above a painful whisper.
Before his bags were unpacked, he came to me and croaked, “Can you help me, mom?”
“Well, probably. Just wait until after dinner.”
He hung around the kitchen while I prepared the meal. I was thinking about the question I would use to get the cause of the laryngitis, when he said, “I wonder what question you’ll ask me?”
A few seconds later, he said, “I’ll bet you’re going to ask me:______”
He duplicated the exact question I was thinking. In the middle of saying the sentence, his full voice returned!
We both laughed. I said, “Good.”
That was the last of the laryngitis. Neither of us mentioned it again.
You see, we also have miracles for dinner.
Chapter 15: “IT’S MINE!”
When you give a child something, it’s his. It’s still not yours. Clothes, toys, quarters, what he has been given, must remain under his exclusive control. So he tears up his shirt, wrecks his bed, breaks his fire engine. It’s none of your business.
How would you like to have somebody give you a Christmas present and then tell you the day after, what you are going to do with it and even punish you if you failed to care for it the way the donor wishes?
You’d wreck that donor and ruin that present. You know you would. The child wrecks your nerves when you do it to him. That’s revenge. He cries. He pesters you. He breaks your things. He “accidentally” spills his milk. And he wrecks, on purpose, the possession about which he is so often cautioned.
Why? Because he is fighting for his own self determinism, his own right to own and make his weight felt on his environment.
This “possession” is another channel by which he can be controlled. So he has to fight the possession and the controller. ( L. Ron Hubbard, SCIENTOLOGY. A New Slant on Life)
My friend and I were chatting over a cup of coffee while her children were playing upstairs in my home. After showing her boy and girl the toy closet, I assumed they were playing there.
When my friend and her family left, however, I went upstairs and found that the children’s play sounds were made while they devastated my bedroom. I was shocked to find my drawers open, perfume and cosmetics spilled over the dresser, and the entire room in disorder.
As I cleaned up the mess, I wondered why this four-year old boy and seven-year old girl should cause such damage. It would never occur to either of my boys to do such things to someone else’s possessions.
From their early childhood, I followed Ron Hubbard’s advice on ownership. They owned their own things, free and clear, and could do with them as they wished.
The experience with my friend’s children helped me realize that there was an additional benefit from following this advice. While the boys expected their belongings to remain untouched, they also acquired a respect for the property of others.
One time Paul and his friends decided to hold a neighborhood toy sale in our front yard. It was almost necessary for me to blindfold and gag myself as the children marched out of Paul’s room with some of his nicest toys. Before the sale was over, half of the children in the neighborhood were involved in the bartering. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. At the end of the day, Paul was left with eighteen cents and a jeep worth about ten dollars.
That evening, however, the jeep owner’s father came storming over, son in tow, and eyes blazing. He demanded the immediate return of the jeep. Paul was mystified by this parental interference, but he complied. So he Ended up with the price of three candy bars and half as many toys; but he was quite satisfied .
It used to be difficult for me to accept one of Lee’s habits. He likes to take things apart. He seldom uses a toy as it was meant to be used. He immediately alters it beyond repair, and usually ends up with nothing but some unidentifiable parts to be stepped on, caught in the vacuum, or hunted out from under the couch.
He enjoys his little parts however, and uses them to make all kinds of new things. After all, who am I to insist that a truck should just run along the floor being a truck, instead of becoming a stripped-down marble carrier? And you should see the jazzy sports model that old cheese carton makes when equipped with a shiny steering wheel and four big truck tires.
I found that if I was too upset when one of the boys destroyed some expensive gift, the mistake was mine. I was spending more money than I was willing to give up totally.
The children’s take-apart habits taught me something. They preferred creating their own playthings. So, while toy stores are featuring the more complex and expensive battery operated, remote-controlled, self-regulated, computerized, replicas that walk, talk, and blow their own noses, my gifts for the children
Bet simpler each year—usually just the tools or materials for creating something. Also, there’s always a bit of pocket money to buy something of their own choice.
Even though the children’s possessions belong to them, they are not permitted to use them in a way that violates the peace or safety of others. Bow and arrows are kept outside at all times.
Cap guns and squirt guns are not allowed to be fired in the house Puddle-producing activities are not permitted on the good tables. These rules are thoroughly known and they are never violated.
It’s important that every child be given his own space. If this cannot be a whole room of his own, he should at least be assigned a portion of the room and drawer space that is exclusively his. He should be allowed to take care of his own space, or not take care of it, as the case may be.
Somewhere along the line, I realized that the boys did not regard neatness and cleanliness in their environment as important as I did (that is probably the understatement of the century).
For a long time, I insisted that they clean their rooms at least once a week. This brought no improvement in their ways, however, and it caused a lot of wear and tear on me. I decided to change my whole approach. I made a pact with them. They were to keep their clutter out of the rest of the house; but, if they wished, they could let their rooms look like the city dump.
Well, they did.
After a longer period of time than I’d care to admit, they started to show some interest in neater quarters. Once in a while, they organized a big clean-up of their rooms, sometimes rearranging the furniture as well. I let them do these jobs by themselves.
I wouldn’t say they reached any pinnacle of perfection in the neatness department, but they are improving. They do notice the clutter now. Perhaps the most important gain here is my peace of mind. I’m now able to ignore the condition of their rooms and let them live as they wish. As a concession to my pride, however, they do keep their doors closed when there are visitors in the house.
Many parents force their children to be “nice” about sharing toys with other children. This violates the child’s right to control his own possessions and will cause him to become selfish and greedy.
Although I never forced the boys to share their toys, there are a few interesting conflicts because of this.
One day Paul was playing with Johnny, who lived next door. I heard loud voices and words of dissension. Soon Johnny marched out to me, confident that, as the guest, he held the upper hand: “Paul won’t let me play with his truck.”
“Johnny, I’m sorry. That’s Paul’s truck and he doesn’t have to let anyone use it unless he wants to.”
With a look of hurt surprise, Johnny put on his coat and walked out of the house.
The same thing happened a few days later. Paul came to me in tears, “Johnny always goes home when I won’t let him have my truck.”
“Yes. I see that.”
“Now I don’t have anyone to play with.”
“Well,” I suggested, “Maybe you could pick out something you will let him have.”
Paul liked this idea, so he went immediately to Johnny’s house to say that he was willing to offer the two cars. Johnny came back over and that was the last of their difficulties on toys.
After that, when any children came to visit, Paul led them to his room and told them which toys he was willing to let them use.
Sometime later, we were visiting friends. Their boy, Frank, didn’t want to give Paul a certain toy. His parents were saying, “Frankie, you be nice to Paul. He’s your guest.”
While Frankie howled in protest, I called Paul over to me. “Look” I reminded him, “At home you don’t have to share your toys unless you want to. Let’s follow the same idea here. You ask Frankie what he will let you have.”
From then on he handled it. In fact, he started the practice of taking along a few of his own toys when we visited friends. There were always a few minutes of negotiation, after which the children settled down for an enjoyable time.
I noticed, with interest, that after this system was established, Paul became a generous person, willing to share a toy or a bite of candy with almost anyone. I followed the same method with Lee. There are no conflicts about ownership in our house.
Consulting a child’s willingness is far more beneficial to him than any amount of indulgent care you may offer.
On the subject of their clothing, I experienced the most trouble. Not with the boys. With me.
It took some time before they cared for the condition of their clothes but, eventually, they began to dislike school pants with large holes in the knees. So, they changed clothes after school and asked me to mend their torn things. ( It was necessary for them to ask, since it is not my nature to look for sewing work. )
By the time he was about twelve, Paul began to develop some pride in his appearance. He learned to wash and iron things (after neglecting to get them into the regular wash on time); he started looking neater, taking more frequent showers, and spending half an hour combing his hair to the exact look of windblown nonchalance.
In all honesty, I should admit that this remarkable transformation was not due to any clever influence on my part. I believe it happened the day after he realized that girls were an opposite sex.
Chapter 16: TELEVISION—MY PREJUDICES
“Mom, may we watch Traveling Terry before we go to bed?”
“Well, all right.”
I consented reluctantly. The boys were behaving nicely and I found no reason to deny them one of their favorite television shows.
After the program, however, both boys became irritable and scrappy. I pried them apart and sent them to bed.
So, it happened once again. Although there was no outside confirmation on the subject, I observed that the boys consistently dropped tone after watching TV.
I never watched it myself. I quit several years earlier when I realized that after logging hundreds of hours in front of the TV, I was unable to remember more than one program. Not much to show for those hours. I knew I could spend my time better.
As the boys grew, I tried to taper them off the TV habit; but they seemed to be thoroughly hooked.
There were several reasons why I objected to the children watching too much television. For one thing, it’s a spectator sport; they were being constantly entertained. This was what we call a “one-way flow.” They were all effect and no cause. That in itself is unnatural for children because they normally prefer more action.
It was to be expected, therefore, that the boys would want some activity after watching TV for a while. This activity, however, always seemed to take the form of reactive conduct.
The reason, I concluded, was because low-scale dramatizations were natural for them on the TV programs. Although the guy in the White Hat always wins in the end, before he does, he must cope with lying, cheating, stealing, hate, violence, fear, deceit, dripping grief, and gushing sentimentality. These are all low tone emotions. Since the reactive mind goes into action because of identification, these low scale reminders were repeatedly restimulating the children’s reactive banks.
I didn’t want to forbid TV totally; this would make it too attractive. However, I did point out to the boys the observations I made, hoping that by understanding what was happening, they would be less effect of it. This did not help.
There were times when I secretly wished the TV set would just break down. Irreparably. But, this was the coward’s way out, I knew. It would be so much better if they could actually see what was happening and exercise their own choice over the matter.
Eventually my patience (which was sometimes closer to Apathy ), was rewarded. Paul went to spend the night with a friend in the neighborhood. I promised to take him to a Scientology Congress the following day, so I reminded him, “See that you get enough sleep.”
About eleven o’clock that night, my neighbor called me, “Paul’s on his way home,” she said, “I tried to stop him, but he just ran out. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
I put on the outside lights and waited for him. He soon came running: in. “I want to get some sleep, Mom. I’ll tell you about it in the morning.”
The next day, as we were driving into the city for the Congress, Paul told me about the previous evening. He and his friend were having a fine time. They played some music together; they had a game of chess. Everything was great, until they decided to watch a TV program before going to bed. After the program, his friend became quarrelsome. He wouldn’t let Paul get to sleep; but kept trying to provoke a fight.
“I couldn’t reason with him; I couldn’t shut him up, so I walked out.” Paul added, “And, Mom, if I ever want to watch that thing again, don’t let me. Now I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes. Just what you’ve been telling me!”
“Right,” I acknowledged out loud. To myself, I breathed a thankful, “Amen!”
The next day Lee turned on the television set. In the next instant, the picture tube blew out.
We all looked at each other and shrugged. Two months later a junk man actually paid me in order to take it away.
This was several years ago and we haven’t missed it. Evenings are much pleasanter without the one eyed monster. (Have you ever realized how much a blaring TV set cuts the family communication?) he’s play more games together and sometimes read stories or talk before bedtime.
With more training and auditing behind them I’m certain the boys would be less influenced by TV today.
They are pretty cool observers of human reactivity.
Chapter 17: SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IQ
“About Lee,” the teacher said gravely, “I’m afraid you should know the worst. You see, he’s in the group that is not advancing. There are four of them, poor things, and they don’t even know their vocabularies for the first reader. Some of the other children have already finished three books.”
“All right I’ll see that he learns his vocabulary.”
“Well, that would be very nice if you could help him; but don’t expect too much. Some children are just slow learners, you know.”
Was she trying to tell me, in a delicate way, that my son was practically retarded? This seemed quite funny to me (since I knew that I could easily resolve Lee’s reading difficulties); But I started to think about those other three children. Perhaps they were similarly mislabeled.
I wondered then: How many capable boys and (girls were being inaccurately named “slow learners,” ‘under achievers,” or “retarded,” simply because teachers did not know how to remedy such manifestations. How many parents were reluctantly accepting such authoritarian judgments because they didn’t know that their children could be helped?
That week-end I started helping Lee. First I let him know that he would soon be able to read.
We made a trip to a local department store and bought the first three readers his class was using.
Soon after we returned, I sat down to teach him the vocabulary of his first book He couldn’t remember the words; as fast as he learned them, they slipped away from him. I knew that the difficulty was earlier (this is a basic rule for the remedy of a study difficulty: When the difficulty won’t resolve easily, go earlier).
I reviewed the letters of the alphabet to see if he knew them and their sounds. He didn’t. I tried to teach these. They were slipping out of his memory too I began to understand the teacher’s dilemma. He was certainly acting stupid. However, I knew that I must go still earlier.
Soon I located the source of the hang-up. It was an incident in kindergarten. The teacher had been showing flash cards with the letters of the alphabet, teaching the letters and their sounds. When she came to the letters “th,” Lee failed to grasp the inter-relationship between the letters, the sound, and their actual application. At this point in our backtracking, Lee screamed at me, “I can’t understand this stuff!”
That blew the decision he made on the subject. We now knew the misunderstood. He was ready to learn. Within a few minutes he mastered the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. Now he was able to learn the vocabulary. He immediately read the first book from cover to cover.
This entire remedy and his accomplishment took less than three hours.
Lee was triumphant. In fact, on Sunday, he insisted in starting the second book. By Monday morning he left for school full of new confidence and enthusiasm. “Wait until I tell the teacher. Now she’ll let me go into one of the reading groups.”
Our troubles were not yet over, however. Lee came home quite depressed. “She didn’t even let me read the whole book. She’s still got me in the dummy group.”
I picked up the phone and called the school for an appointment with the teacher. She was either a Suppressive or just incredibly obtuse (in either case, her actions were suppressive). I would give her the benefit of the doubt; if she could not be handled I vowed, Lee would acquire a new teacher immediately.
The teacher patiently explained, “When Lee told me he had learned to read the whole book over the week-end, I talked it over with the principal. We both agreed that was impossible.
He’s learned to sight read and he’s just saying the words by rote; they don’t mean anything to him. Before we let any child read, he has to do all of the work sheets that go with the book. Otherwise, we don’t know whether he has any comprehension of what he’s reading.”
Part of what she was saying made sense; but I was shocked at a suspicion growing in my mind; Was it possible these two educators actually decided that a child could not be educated? This seemed incredible but I decided to test her acceptance.
“Tell me, do you believe it’s possible for Lee to graduate from this grade?”
“Well now, he’s considerably behind the class you know.”
“All right. But, do you believe it’s possible for Lee to graduate from this grade?”
“You see,” she explained, “he doesn’t really seem to be very interested . . .”
It took thirty minutes and about six repeats of my original question before she was able to blow off all of her negative considerations. At last, however, she was able to admit that it might be possible for Lee to pass.
At this point, I told her, with a great deal of Army intention, that I planned to see that he did get through. If she would just let me know when he was having any difficulty, there would be no excuse for failure. No extra time or attention was required on her part. “First,” I asked, “will you let him do those work sheets you mentioned? Otherwise, as you pointed out, you will not know when he is ready to go into the reading group.”
“Yes. I guess I could do that.”
“Fine. I’ll be looking forward to seeing them when he brings them home.”
For the next few days Lee brought four or five work sheets home each day (all marked with an “A”), and by the end of the week he was in with a reading group.
His reading moved along at a good pace after that.
So much for one “slow learner.”
This is an example of the application of what I then knew about the Scientology Study Data.
Chapter 18: ODDS AND ENDS
When you start to introduce order into anything, disorder shows up and blows off. Therefore, efforts to bring order in the society or any part of it will be products of disorder for a while every time.
The trick is to keep on bringing order and soon the disorder is gone, and you have orderly activity remaining. But if you hate disorder and fight disorder only, don’t ever try to bring order to anything; for the resonating disorder will drive you half mad. ( L. Ron Hubbard SCIENTOLOGY: A New Slant on Life)
If you can remember how the kitchen looked the last time you decided to clean out all the cupboards, you will understand this point on disorder.
This will happen in your household if, overnight, you change your methods of handling your child. He may become more reactive than ever for a while. He will try to push all of your buttons (and he will know them ). But, don’t lose your cool.
Of course, you will have difficulty if this child of yours was already been trained, controlled, ordered about, denied his own possessions. In mid-flight, you change your tactics. You try to give him his freedom. He’s so suspicious of you he will have a terrible time trying to adjust.
The transition period will be difficult. But, at the end of it, you’ll haste a well-ordered, sociable child, thoughtful of you and, very important to you - a child that loves you. (L. Ron Hubbard, SCIENTOLOGY: A New Slant on Life)
The first step you could take is to get together with the family to discuss your purposes as a group. Do plenty of communicating. See what is being done now toward these purposes and what needs to be done to improve your progress. Decide what adjustments arc necessary and put the new methods into effect as routine. Re-inspect and correct if things go wrong. When any goal is accomplished, realize this, acknowledge it, and set up some new goals.
You may find, as I did, that it will be necessary to get in some firm discipline before you can put your new knowledge to best use.
The chairs and the blackboard system I employed did not bring about a cure of aberration.
They did help the boys learn that they could take charge of their banks. This made life pleasanter for all of us. (Our organizations handle this type of discipline, when necessary, with the Ethics Department.)
None of us enjoys the company of a person who is continuously spewing his emotions all over the place. He causes us as much discomfort as would an untrained puppy running around loose on the new rug.
Most of us can use a little housebreaking before we are of any value as a friend, Mother, Father, or child, and before we can develop the control necessary to bring about permanent gains.
When you give a child an order, always see that it is carried out. After he learns that you do intend to see that each order is completed, let him do things in his own time. Ignore any invitations to Q & A. Just let your original instructions stand. He will soon go ahead and do the job, by his own choice. He will always prefer doing things he decided to do. I find now that the boys often anticipate things I want done and go ahead on their own. Lee will see me preparing dinner and he will get busy and set the table for me.
Never follow instructions with the negative assumption that they won’t be executed. “Stay away from the street or I’ll spank you.”
This is putting in a correction before it is needed and indicates distrust. Also, the reactive mind nearly always forces a challenge of such statements.
Make your rules, give your instruction, and trust that they will be followed.
If there is more than one child, don’t treat them all alike. They’re not. This can create jealous rivalry. Gifts and belongings should be purchased with the individual personality in mind.
The older child should be given more privileges and freedom. Remember, a child must see some advantages to growing up, or he will want to remain a child. I once heard a friend admonish her husband, “Quit flattering that girl; you’ll spoil her.”
This is an interesting assumption. It’s just not true.
How can we spoil a child? By over-indulging him when his contribution is low, by making all of his decisions for him, by doing too much of his thinking and actions for him, and by not permitting him to choose what he wants to do or be or own.
We do not spoil a child by giving him too much love and admiration, by giving him a choice in things that concern him, by giving him exclusive right to his own space and possessions or by acknowledging and rewarding him as a being.
Good intentions exist in every parent. We instinctively try to do the right thing. We just don’t always know what the right thing is. No matter how many mistakes you made in the past, it’s not too late to set them straight now. I find children remarkably forgiving about the mistakes and overts of their parents.
When a child is critical despite the fact that his parents are doing their best, this means only one thing: He is withholding something from them.
Do everything you can to perceive and raise the child’s awareness. It is far more important than what he can do. He may not yet be able to do much, but he may be aware of many things. If he knows, for instance, that he could improve and he is able to seek help, he is far ahead of the accomplished person who is still unaware that something is ruining his life and that he could be helped.
Do not judge the child by what he can (or cannot) do at this point. Help cultivate his awareness. He’ll catch up on the things he can do as he grows older.
You can only go so far in raising a child. After you’ve done it, recognize that you finished the job. Don’t keep on trying to “raise” him. It is quite pitiful to see parents who are still trying to think for a grown son or daughter. Let go at the right time and your children will become interesting, adult friends.
None of the methods or advice in this book will actually erase the reactive bank of your child. Only auditing will do that. But perhaps these methods u ill make your job as Mother or Father easier.
I’ve given only a small sampling of the whole of Scientology The more you learn about life, and man, and his behavior—the better you will be able to do any job, whether it’s raising a family, running a factory or delivering the mail. I hope you will want to learn more.
Ron Hubbard has written many excellent books. Classes are taught in Scientology Organizations and Centers in every country of the world except Russia (which should tell you how we fit with communism ) If you wish to learn more about Scientology, I suggest you read some books or attend a class. Book ordering information is contained in the back of this book. For beginners I recommend Dianetics The Modern Science of Mental Health which explains the source of the reactive mind.
I think you’ll like Scientologists. You’ll find them intelligent and friendly. You’ll meet people of every age and social stratum. You’ll find the young ( they dig us), and the old (they get younger) You’ll meet the corporation president, the mail clerk, the schoolteacher, the housewife, the lawyer, the stockbroker, the doctor, the artist, and the engineer.
If I were to summarize Scientologists, I would say: We dance more, we laugh more, we sing more. We know all about the serious things in life.
So we no longer need to take it so seriously.
Whether or not you join us, perhaps you will try the ideas here and use those that work for you. If you’re successful, I hope you’ll thank Ron Hubbard.
He’s the only man in our civilization who possessed the courage to keep searching until he learned the truth about man.
Chapter 19: THE LAST WORD
Between the beginning and ending of writing this book, Paul (at thirteen) went Clear and so did I (Lee’s turn will come in a few years). The state of Clear is a personal thing. We are unique individuals, each with our own talents, experiences, and knowledge. Clearing removes the thoughts and emotions which come, unwanted, from a hidden source. Old memories and associations no longer crowd in to influence our present experiences. The true being emerges; he thinks and remembers by his own choice; he is completely in charge again, as he should be.
On the morning I went Clear, I finished an early auditing session and went down to the kitchen of our English cottage to make some coffee. Outside it was cold, dark, and raining; but I felt wrapped in sunshine. It was like the first day of Spring for me—that first day when one could go outside without a heavy coat. I felt buoyant, young, and alive. I wanted to play leap frog over tree tops and fall in love with life again.
Today I am completely at peace with myself. Family matters are well in hand. I no longer worry about “What will become of the children?”
They’ll be busy helping. So will I. We’ll be looking for the rest of our people, those who are still in hibernation, but awake enough to hear us when we invite them to join us in the sunshine.
Together we’ll be doing all we can to make this planet sane again.
I shall close by quoting, in its entirety, the speech made by Paul in the chapel at Saint Hill when he went Clear:
“Here’s some advice for those of you who have children: Treat them as thetans, not as kids.”
There are three reasons a child may exhibit a low IQ:
1. Congenital defects. He was born with actual brain damage.
2. Aberration. Too much reactive bank is in restimulation, thus lowering his awareness.
3. Miss-education. Mistakes were made in teaching him and they were not corrected.
The biggest error in modern culture (with regard to intellect), is the careless lumping together of these three deficiencies. This blunder is costly to the advancement of civilization, because something can be done to correct aberration and miss-education. In Scientology we are doing it.
I see consistent examples of improved IQ after training and auditing. I used to test students before and after giving them basic Scientology training and auditing. I often saw their IQ jump as much as ten or fifteen points. After two years of training and auditing, my own IQ went up thirty-five points.
In 1964, Ron Hubbard made a major breakthrough when he did some personal research into the subject of Study. The knowledge he acquired was put into practice in all Scientology Academies with excellent results.
Outside of Scientology, I know of no school or university in the World today which offers a course on “How to Study.” Off hand, it’s hard to imagine a more basic oversight.
In our Franchise Center (Scientology Ann Arbor) we are now offering a Study Course and Remedies (for students in difficulty). We shall soon add seminars for educators and, possibly, a tutoring service I could not do justice to the study material if I were to include it here. It deserves a book of its own. However, the material is available to the general public. If your nearest Organization or Franchise Center does not offer a class, they will help you obtain a series of Study Tapes which can be heard at home.
Meanwhile, as parents, it is important to know that your child is not necessarily limited because of native ability. He is limited to the degree that he doesn’t know how to study a subject and to the degree that his teachers do not know how to correct the difficulties he encounters.
For too long we’ve put the emphasis, wrongly, on the child’s ability, rather than on the methods by which he’s being taught.
ABERRATION: Any departure from rationality. (SCIENTOLOGY: A New Slant on Life by L. Ron Hubbard )
ACKNOWLEDGMENT: A communication which tells another person that his action has been recognized as being complete. Example: “Thank you.”
ANALYTICAL MIND: That part of a person’s thinking machinery and memories over which he has relatively full control. ( The Creation of Headman Ability, by L. Ron Hubbard)
AUDITING: The application of Scientology processes and procedures to someone by a trained auditor. The exact definition of auditing is: The action of asking a preclear a question (which he can understand and answer), getting an answer to that question and acknowledging him for that answer. (Scientology Abridged Dictionary)
AUDITING COMM CYCLE: The cycle of communication used in auditing.
AUDITING SESSION: A precise period of time during which an auditor audits a preclear.
AUDITOR: A listener or one who listens carefully to what people have to say. An auditor is a person trained and qualified in applying Scientology processes to others for their betterment.
AWARENESS: That which a person is conscious of; ability to recognize conditions of life.
BANK: The reactive mind.
BANKY: Acting in a reactive manner.
BLOND: To get rid of something in the reactive mind.
BUTTON: Items, words, phrases, subjects or areas that are easily restimulateable in an individual by the words or actions of other people, and which cause him discomfort, embarrassment or upset, or make him laugh uncontrollably.
CLEAR: A person who has completed Grade VII by erasing his whole bank. He no longer has a reactive mind or time track, and he is again wholly himself and can follow his own basic purposes.
(This is a much higher state of beingness than has ever before been imagined by Man.)
COMM: An abbreviation for the word “communication.”
COMM CYCLE: A communication cycle. The action of asking a question, getting an answer to that question, and acknowledging that answer.
CYCLES OF ACTION: In Scientology, a cycle of action means from the beginning to the conclusion of an intended action.
DIANETICS: A science of mental health.
DOINGNESS: One’s ability to execute an action.
DOWN SCALE: Low on the Emotional Tone Scale.
EMOTIONAL TONE SCALE: A Scale measuring Sanity and relating the various factors of behavior, emotion, and thought, to levels on the scale. (The Creation of Herman Ability, by L. Ron Hubbard)
ENGRAM: A mental image picture of an experience containing pain, unconsciousness, and a real or fancied threat to survival; it is a recording in the reactive mind of something which actually happened to an individual in the past and which contained pain and unconsciousness, both of which are recorded in the mental image picture called an engram. (Scientology Abridged Dictionary )
ETHICS: The Scientology Ethics Department is the one which handlers any person whose behavior or condition inhibits his progress (or the progress of others) in auditing, training, or administration.
GENERALITY: A general or non-specific statement which is applicable to all and used in Scientology to mean a statement made in an effort either to hide cause or to overwhelm another person with the all-inclusive, e.g. “Everybody thinks....”
HIGH-TONED: A person is high-toned if his emotional attitude is above 2.0 on the Tone Scale.
INVALIDATE: To weaken, criticize, or make wrong.
LOW TONED: A person’s attitude or actions are at 2.0 or below on the Emotional Tone Scale.
MIND: A control system between the thetan and the physical universe. The mind is not the brain.
MINUS RANDOMITY: Anything which has too little motion in it for a person’s tolerance.
MOTIVATOR: A motivator is an overt act done to a person. It tends to balance up an overt act he has committed. It is more than just an undesirable experience. He will handle some situations to resolve them. However, he needs the motivator to balance up overts, so he will only complain about it and do nothing to correct it.
OPTIMUM RANDOMITY: From the viewpoint of the individual, something which has in it the right amount of motion or unexpectedness for his tolerance.
OVERT ACT: A harmful action against another.
OVERT-MOTIVATOR SEQUENCE: The sequence wherein someone who has committed an overt has to claim the existence of motivators. The motivators are then liable to be used to justify committing further overt acts.
O/Ws: Overts and withholds.
PC: A preclear.
PLUS RANDOMITY: From the viewpoint of the individual, something which has in it too much motion or unexpectedness for his tolerance.
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SOURCE ( PTS ): Any person who, while active in Scientology or a preclear remains connected to a suppressive person or group.
(A person or pre-clear roller-coasters, i. e. gets better, then worse, only when he is connected to a suppressive person or group, and he must, in order to make his gains from Scientology permanent, either handle the source of suppression or disconnect from it. )
PRECLEAR: This term covers anyone who is not a clear; however, it is principally used to describe a person who, through Scientology processing, is finding out more about himself and life.
PROCESS: A set of questions asked by an auditor to help a person find out things about himself or life
PROCESSING: That action or actions, governed by the technical disciplines and codes of Scientology of administering a process to a preclear in order to release or free him.
PSYCHO-SOMATIC: Physical pain or discomfort which stems from the reactive mind.
PTS: Potential Trouble Source.
Q&A: To fail to complete a cycle of action.
RANDOMITY: The ratio of unpredicted motion to predicted motion.
REACTIVE: Irrational, reacting instead of acting; thinkingness or behavior dictated by the reactive mind rather than the individual’s own present-time determinism.
REACTIVE MIND: That portion of a person’s mind which is not under his volitional command or recall, and which exerts the power of command over his thinking and actions. (Creation of Human Ability, by L. Ron Hubbard)
RESPONSIBILITY: The concept of being able to care for, to reach or to be; the ability and willingness to be cause. To accept responsibility for something is to accept that one operated as cause in the matter. It should be clearly distinguished from such lower level considerations as blame or praise which include the further evaluation of the goodness or badness of the thing caused. (Scientology Abridged Dictionary)
RESTIMULATE: To activate something in the reactive mind.
RESTIMULATOR: Anything in the individual’s surroundings which is sufficiently similar to something in his reactive mind that it causes part of his reactive mind to become restimulated.
ROLLER-COASTER: To get better and then worse.
SAINT HILL MANOR: The location of the Hubbard College of Scientology in East Grinstead, Sussex, England.
SCIENTOLOGY: An applied philosophy dealing with the study of knowledge, which, through the application of its technology can bring about desirable changes in the conditions of life. (Taken from the Latin word SCIO—knowing in the fullest sense of the word, and the Greek word LOGOS—to study )
SP: A suppressive person.
SUPPRESSIVE PERSON: One who purposely upsets others around him to keep them down. The SP is dedicated to destruction of others because he feels that everyone threatens him. Therefore, he is afraid of anyone getting better.
THETAN: The being himself, not his mind or body. Soul. Spirit.
TONE SCALE: See Emotional Tone Scale.
TR’s: Training drills on Scientology Courses which train students to communicate and audit.
WITHHOLD: Something that is kept secret. It is the withhold of an overt act which causes someone to pull in a motivator.